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Caribbean Examinations Council
SYLLABUS
SUBJECT REPORTS
Macmillan Education
4 Crinan Street, London, N1 9XW
A division of Macmillan Publishers Limited
Companies and representatives throughout the world
www.macmillancaribbean.com
ISBN 9780230482562
Caribbean Examinations Council (CXC ) 2015
www.cxc.org
www.cxcstore.com
The author has asserted their right to be identified as the author of this work in accordance with the
Copyright, Design and Patents Act 1988.
First published 2014
This revised version published 2015
Permission to copy
The material in this book is copyright. However, the publisher grants permission for copies to be
made without fee. Individuals may make copies for their own use or for use by classes of which they
are in charge; institutions may make copies for use within and by the staff and students of that
institution. For copying in any other circumstances, prior permission in writing must be obtained
from Macmillan Publishers Limited. Under no circumstances may the material in this book be used,
in part or in its entirety, for commercial gain. It must not be sold in any format.
Designed by Macmillan Publishers Limited
Cover design by Macmillan Publishers Limited and Red Giraffe
LIST OF CONTENTS
95
110
122
132
138
145
152
160
168
180
Physics
Physics is the study of nature, conducted in order to understand how the world around us
behaves. Physics study matter and its motion, as well as space and time and explores
concepts such as force, energy, mass, and charge. The CAPE Physics Syllabus will
enable persons to be aware of the laws and theories of Physics that influence every
aspect of their physical existence and to acquire understanding and knowledge of
technological and scientific application of Physics, especially in the Caribbean context.
The CAPE Physics Syllabus is structured to ensure that students become aware of their
moral, social, and ethical responsibilities as well as the benefits intrinsic to the practical
application of scientific knowledge in careers in the field of science. The syllabus also helps
to develop an understanding of the scientific process, its usefulness and its limitations.
This syllabus is arranged into TWO Units, each made up of three Modules.
Unit 1: Mechanics, Waves, Properties of Matter
Module 1
Mechanics
Module 2
Module 3
Unit 2: Electricity and Magnetism, A.C. Theory and Atomic and Nuclear Physics
Module 1
Module 2
Module 3
CAPE
PHYSICS
Effective for examinations from May/June 2008
CXC A16/U2/07
Contents
RATIONALE.................................................................................................................................................... 1
AIMS ................................................................................................................................................................. 1
SKILLS AND ABILITIES TO BE ASSESSED .............................................................................................. 2
PREREQUISITES OF THE SYLLABUS ...................................................................................................... 5
STRUCTURE OF THE SYLLABUS ............................................................................................................. 5
UNIT 1: MECHANICS, WAVES AND PROPERTIES OF MATTER
MODULE 1: MECHANICS ................................................................................................................. 6
MODULE 2: OSCILLATIONS AND WAVES ................................................................................... 18
MODULE 3: THERMAL AND MECHANICAL PROPERTIES OF MATTER ............................. 27
UNIT 2: ELECTRICITY AND MAGNETISM, A. C. THEORY AND ELECTRONICS AND
ATOMIC AND NUCLEAR PHYSICS
MODULE 1: ELECTRICITY AND MAGNETISM ................................................................................ 37
MODULE 2: A. C. THEORY AND ELECTRONICS ............................................................................ 47
MODULE 3: ATOMIC AND NUCLEAR PHYSICS.......................................................................... 56
OUTLINE OF ASSESSMENT ........................................................................................................................ 64
REGULATIONS FOR PRIVATE CANDIDATES ........................................................................................ 68
REGULATIONS FOR RESIT CANDIDATES.............................................................................................. 69
ASSESSMENT GRID ....................................................................................................................................... 69
RESOURCES .................................................................................................................................................... 70
GLOSSARY ....................................................................................................................................................... 71
LIST OF MINIMUM LABORATORY REQUIREMENTS .......................................................................... 76
LIST OF PHYSICAL CONSTANTS ............................................................................................................... 78
MATHEMATICAL REQUIREMENTS .......................................................................................................... 80
SUMMARY OF KEY QUANTITIES, SYMBOLS AND UNITS.................................................................. 83
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ii
Introduction
CXC A16/U2/07
Physics Syllabus
RATIONALE
cience plays a major role in the evolution of knowledge. It empowers us to use creative and independent
approaches to problem solving. It arouses our natural curiosity and enables us to meet diverse and ever
expanding challenges. It enhances our ability to inquire, seek answers, research and interpret data. These skills
lead to the construction of theories and laws that help us to explain natural phenomena and exercise control over
our environment. Science is, thus, an integral component of a balanced education.
The most important natural resource in the Caribbean is its people. If the Caribbean is to play an important role in
the new global village and survive economically, a sustained development of the scientific and technological resources
of its people is essential.
Physics is generally regarded as the most fundamental scientific discipline. The study of Physics is necessary to
explain our physical environment. In fact, this is the role of the laws and theories of Physics that influence
every aspect of our physical existence. In particular, whatever conveniences and luxuries we enjoy as citizens of
Caribbean nations can either directly or indirectly be traced to these fundamental physical laws and theories.
This CAPE syllabus in Physics is, therefore, designed to provide a coherent course of study which addresses, in
addition to a specific knowledge base, the development of related skills and attitudes. The syllabus takes into
account the requirements for tertiary education at regional and international institutions. It is also structured in
such a way as to ensure that students become aware of their moral, social, and ethical responsibilities, as well as the
benefits intrinsic to the practical application of scientific knowledge to careers in the scientific field.
AIMS
The syllabus aims to enable students to:
1.
acquire understanding and knowledge of technological and scientific applications of Physics, especially
in the Caribbean context;
2.
demonstrate an awareness and understanding of natural phenomena which affect this region and their
sensitivity to concerns about the preservation of our environment;
3.
develop an understanding of the scientific process and their recognition of its usefulness and its
limitations;
CXC A16/U2/07
4.
encourage the development of rational and ethical attitudes and behaviours in the application of
Physics;
5.
6.
provide appropriate scientific training for the purposes of employment, further studies and personal
enhancement;
7.
Knowledge
Comprehension
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Synthesis
Evaluation
identify causal factors and show how they interact with each
other;
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Unit 1 is expected to be covered in approximately 150 hours, and consists of three Modules. This Unit is structured as follows:
Module 1
Module 2
Module 3
Unit 2:
Mechanics
Oscillations and Waves
Thermal and Mechanical Properties of Matter
Unit 2 is expected to be covered in approximately 150 hours, and consists of three Modules. This Unit is structured as
follows:
Module 1
Module 2
Module 3
The syllabus is arranged into two (2) Units, Unit 1 which will lay the foundation, and Unit 2 which expands on and applies
the concepts formulated in Unit 1. It is, therefore, recommended that Unit 2 be taken after satisfactory completion of Unit
1 or a similar course. Each Unit will be certified separately.
For each Module there are general and specific objectives. The general and specific objectives indicate the scope of the
content, including practical work, on which the examination will be based. However, unfamiliar situations may be presented
as stimulus material in a question.
Explanatory notes are provided to the right of some specific objectives. These notes provide further guidance to teachers as to
the level of detail required.
Th e s i n g l e u n d e r l i n i n g o f a s p e c i f i c o b j e c t i v e and its explanatory notes, indicate those areas of the syllabus that are
suitable for practical work. However, practical work should not necessarily be limited to these objectives.
It is recommended that of the approximately 50 hours suggested for each Module, a minimum of about 20 hours be spent on
laboratoryrelated activities, such as conducting experiments, making field trips and viewing audiovisual materials.
CXC A16/U2/07
2.
3.
solve problems of bodies at rest, in uniform motion, or uniformly accelerated motion under the
influence of forces in one and two dimensions;
4.
5.
6.
design and carry out experiments to test relationships between physical quantities;
7.
SPECIFIC OBJECTIVES
1.
EXPLANATORY NOTES
Physical Quantities
1.2
1.3
1.4
1.5
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vector
UNIT 1
MODULE 1: MECHANICS (contd)
SPECIFIC OBJECTIVES
EXPLANATORY NOTES
rearrange
relationships
between
physical
quantities so that linear graphs may be plotted;
1.7
1.8
2.
SI Units
2.2
2.3
2.4
2.5
2.6
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UNIT 1
MODULE 1: MECHANICS (contd)
SPECIFIC OBJECTIVES
3.
EXPLANATORY NOTES
Motion
3.2
3.3
3.4
3.5
3.6
3.7
3.8
3.9
3.10
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bodies
undergoing
UNIT 1
MODULE 1: MECHANICS (contd)
SPECIFIC OBJECTIVES
EXPLANATORY NOTES
Motion (contd)
Students should be able to:
3.11
3.12
3.13
3.14
3.15
3.16
3.17
3.18
3.19
3.20
3.21
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to problems
UNIT 1
MODULE 1: MECHANICS (contd)
SPECIFIC OBJECTIVES
EXPLANATORY NOTES
Motion (contd)
Students should be able to:
3.22
3.23
3.24
4.
Effects of Forces
4.2
4.3
4.4
4.5
5.
Conservation of Energy
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W=Fx
10
UNIT 1
MODULE 1: MECHANICS (contd)
SPECIFIC OBJECTIVES
EXPLANATORY NOTES
5.3
5.4
5.5
5.6
5.7
5.8
5.9
5.10
5.11
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11
thermal,
UNIT 1
MODULE 1: MECHANICS (contd)
Suggested Teaching and Learning Activities
To facilitate students attainment of the objectives of this Module, teachers are advised to engage students in teaching and
learning activities listed below.
1.
Investigate the Physics of the motion of a cricket ball after delivery by bowler, for example, reverse
swing; loop of delivery.
2.
Investigate factors influencing deviation of a struck cricket ball, or any ball, from an ideal parabolic
path, for example, factors such as atmospheric conditions or defects in the ball.
3.
Investigate the effect of the follow through on the motion of struck balls in different ball sports, for
example, cricket, tennis.
4.
5.
Design and construct energy conversion models, for example, solar electricity.
6.
7.
Investigate useful energy conservation mechanisms applicable to the design and construction of
buildings in the Caribbean.
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12
UNIT 1
MODULE 1: MECHANICS (contd)
PR A C T I C A L A C T I V I T I E S
Th e t e a c h e r i s u r g e d t o r e i n f o r c e t h e r e l e v a n t a p p r o v e d c o d e s a n d s a f e t y p r a c t i c e s d u r i n g th e d e l i v e ry
of al l pr ac t i c al ac t i v i t i e s i n t he M odu l e .
ARCHIMEDES PRINCIPLE
Re f e r t o S p e c i f i c O b j e c t i v e 4 . 1
Ai m :
The balance you will use, illustrated in Fig. 1, consists of a metre rule suspended by a thread from a retort stand and clamp.
Me t h o d :
First, adjust the position of the thread on the rule so that it balances horizontally on its own with no other
masses suspended. Record the position of the thread.
100g mass
Take the RUBBER stopper provided and suspend it by a thread close to one end of the metre rule. Now balance the rule by
suspending a 100g mass by a thread on the other side of the rule. The rule should be horizontal when balanced. Record the
point of suspension of the 100g mass.
When the rule is balanced, the principle of moments states that the sum of the moments of forces about the point of
suspension in the clockwise direction is equal to the sum of the moments in the anticlockwise direction.
Draw a diagram indicating forces acting on the rule. Write an equation for the balance of the moments of the forces.
Hence, determine the mass of the stopper.
Q.1
Why balance the metre rule with nothing suspended at the start?
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13
UNIT 1
MODULE 1: MECHANICS (contd)
Leaving the stopper suspended from the same point, place a beaker of water below the stopper and arrange it so that the
stopper is completely immersed in water. Now find a new position for suspension of the 100 g mass so that the rule is again
balanced. Be careful to see that the stopper does not touch the edge or bottom of the beaker. All the results should be
carefully tabulated.
From the above readings calculate the apparent weight of the stopper while it was immersed in water. The loss of weight is
due to the upthrust of the water or buoyancy force. Archimedes Principle shows that: upthrust = weight in air apparent
weight in water (assuming air gives negligible upthrust). Thus, find the upthrust on the stopper.
Q.2
Does it matter how far below the surface of the water you immerse the stopper, providing you do
bottom? Why?
A.
Place the CORK stopper provided in a beaker of water. Note that since the cork is floating it is only partially
immersed.
Q.3
What must the relation be between the upthrust on the stopper and its weight? What is this upthrust in your
case? You may use the commercial balance to determine the mass of the cork.
B.
Determination of the weight of water displaced by the rubber and cork stoppers
For these measurements a displacement measuring vessel (d.m.v.) is used. Place the d.m.v. on the shelf over the sink. Fill it
with water until water runs out of the spout into the sink. Wait a minute or so until the water has stopped draining from
the spout then place an empty beaker under the spout and carefully lower the rubber stopper into the displacement measuring
vessel (d.m.v). Find the weight of the displaced water collected in the beaker. Again, wait until the water has completely
stopped draining from the spout. Repeat the above procedure with the cork and find the weight of water displaced by the
floating cork in the beaker.
Compare the weights of displaced water with the upthrust found in the corresponding cases in A and B above.
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14
UNIT 1
MODULE 1: MECHANICS (contd)
THE DISTRIBUTION OF ERRORS IN PHYSICAL MEASURMENTS
Re f e r t o S p e c i f i c O b j e c t i v e 1 . 7
Ai m :
Me t h o d :
A.
Attach a plain sheet of paper to the soft board mounted on the wall. Make a suitable mark or marks on the paper at the
level of the middle of the paper. Stand at a distance from the board and throw darts at the level on the paper where your
estimate your eye level to be. According to your throwing ability several trial throws may be necessary before the most suitable
throwing distance is found.
Make a total of 100 throws. More than one sheet of paper may be used (if necessary) as long as the same reference marks
are used to position each. Be careful, however, otherwise your graph will be poor.
Divide the vertical range of the points on the paper(s) into 10 equal sections of the suitable width, say, for example, 2 cm.
(See Figure 1). Count the number of points in each section and tabulate the results. A few points may be below section 1 or
above section 10 but they should NOT be discarded. Label these sections 0, 1,.. (Note: Use a big enough sheet of paper
so that your throws land on paper).
Draw a histogram illustrating the number of times, ni , that points occur in a certain section, xi (Figure 2). Note the
following about the histogram:
Each number 0, 1.10, on the xi axis, is at the centre of a section, for example, 9 is at the centre of
section 9.
The histogram must show a section with ni at both the start and end.
Connect the midpoints by a smooth curve as shown. This need not go through all the midpoints.
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15
UNIT 1
MODULE 1: MECHANICS (contd)
Random errors should cause the histogram to approximately follow a bellshaped curve called the No r ma l Di s t r i b u t i o n .
Now calculate the mean value of the measurements,
=
ni xi where N=total number of points and xi can have 1 10. Mark the mean value
on the histogram.
Finally, note on your paper where the mean value xi is located and reposition your paper on the soft board. Use the meter
= 5.2 locate the height of
rule provided to obtain the height of the mean value xi above the floor. Exa m p l e : Suppose
section 5.2 above the ground level. (It would be about 150 22 cm). Note that 5.0 refers to the midpoints of section 5 and
0.2 is 0.2 x the distance between the midpoints of sections 5 and 6.
Also measure directly the height of your eyes above the floor.
Comment on your results.
B.
Standard Deviation
The degree to which numerical data are scattered about an average value is called the dispersion of the data. Common
measures of the dispersion are the mean deviation and the standard deviation may be used.
If data are grouped such that x1, x2 ..occur with frequencies ni xi the following form of standard deviation may be use.
s=
Small values of standard deviation indicate that there is not much dispersion or scatter of the data.
(i)
For the data obtained in part (A) of the experiment calculate the standard deviation.
CXC A16/U2/07
16
UNIT 1
MODULE 1: MECHANICS (contd)
(ii)
already found
from (A). Exa m p l e : Suppose s = 1.4. If each section in your experimental sheet was 1.5 cm
wide, then s = 1.4 implies 1.4x1.5=2.1 cm.
Your experimental value for your eye level is
C.
in cm
s in cm.
Repeat the experiment by standing at a longer distance ( to 2 times your previous throwing distance) away from
the board. You may have to use more sheets firmly fastened together so that all your throws land on the sheets. You
may also have to divide your sheets into more sections of approximately 2 cm to cover all your points.
s in cm again.
CXC A16/U2/07
17
UNIT 1
MODULE 2: OSCILLATIONS AND WAVES
GENERAL OBJECTIVES
On completion of this Module, students should:
1.
2.
3.
4.
apply their knowledge of waves to the functioning of the eye and the ear.
SPECIFIC OBJECTIVES
1.
EXPLANATORY NOTES
Har m o n i c M o t i o n
cos t or v=
sin t
and
1.2
1.3
CXC A16/U2/07
necessary
for
simple
18
vo = A
UNIT 1
MODULE 2: OSCILLATIONS AND WAVES (contd)
SPECIFIC OBJECTIVES
EXPLANATORY NOTES
Har m o n i c M o t i o n ( c o n t d )
Students should be able to:
1.4
1.5
Include graphs.
1.6
1.7
1.8
1.9
1.10
2.
Pro p e r t i e s o f W a v e s
2.2
CXC A16/U2/07
19
UNIT 1
MODULE 2: OSCILLATIONS AND WAVES (contd)
SPECIFIC OBJECTIVES
EXPLANATORY NOTES
represent transverse
graphically;
2.4
2.5
2.6
2.7
2.8
Represent graphically.
2.9
2.10
2.11
2.12
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and
longitudinal
waves
of
between
to solve
20
UNIT 1
MODULE 2: OSCILLATIONS AND WAVES (contd)
SPECIFIC OBJECTIVES
EXPLANATORY NOTES
2.14
2.15
2.16
2.17
2.18
and
to
solve problems;
2.19
2.20
2.21
2.22
2.23
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velocity of
21
UNIT 1
MODULE 2: OSCILLATIONS AND WAVES (contd)
SPECIFIC OBJECTIVES
EXPLANATORY NOTES
n1 sin
2.25
2.26
3.
Phy s i c s o f t h e E ar and E ye
3.2
3.3
3.4
3.5
Power in dioptres =
3.6
3.7
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I = intensity
Io = threshold intensity
dBA scale
22
/u + 1/v = 1/f
/f
with f in metres
UNIT 1
MODULE 2: OSCILLATIONS AND WAVES (contd)
SPECIFIC OBJECTIVES
EXPLANATORY NOTES
3.9
Find out how light is transmitted along an optical fibre. Students could investigate the effect of fibre
thickness on reduction of light intensity of a specific frequency or the effect of the light frequency on
loss in intensity for the identical fibre.
2.
Construct a model of an electricity generator that can be powered by the energy of sea waves.
3.
Construct a model of an invisible aircraft similar to the stealth aircraft which is constructed to be
invisible to radar waves. In the stealth aircraft flat panels are angled so as to reflect incident radar
signals up or down rather than back to the radar station.
4.
Construct a model of the eye that demonstrates its operation and common defects. A simple laser
pointer could be used as the light source.
5.
Investigate the factors influencing the quality of notes produced through the vibration of waves in strings
and pipes.
6.
7.
8.
9.
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23
UNIT 1
MODULE 2: OSCILLATIONS AND WAVES (contd)
Suggested Teaching and Learning Activities
10.
Measure the frequency response of the ear with respect to gender and age.
11.
Measure the noise in different locations, for example, factories, airports, classrooms.
12.
13.
14.
15.
PR A C T I C A L A C T I V I T I E S
Th e t e a c h e r i s u r g e d t o r e i n f o r c e t h e r e l e v a n t a p p r o v e d c o d e s a n d s a f e t y p r a c t i c e s d u r i n g t h e d e liv e r y
of al l pr ac t i c al ac t i v i t i e s i n t he M odu l e .
STATIONARY WAVES
Re f e r t o S p e c i f i c O b j e c t i v e 2 . 9
Ai m s :
(a)
(b)
(c)
Me t h o d :
A.
load
Turn on the signal generator and find the frequency required to produce a oneloop standing wave. Then find other
frequencies which give 2 loops, 3 loops ..
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24
UNIT 1
MODULE 2: OSCILLATIONS AND WAVES (contd)
By means of a linear graph use your results to find the velocity of the waves on the string.
B.
Stationary Microwaves
By moving the probe receiver find a number of consecutive nodes and hence measure the wave length. Explain why this is
better than trying to find the distance between two nodes. Use c=f
to find the frequency of the microwaves
(c = 3.00 x 108 ms1)
C.
Find the distance between two consecutive nodes and, hence, find the wavelength of the sound. Find v from v=f
the experiment for a different frequency.
. Repeat
To investigate the refraction of light at an air/Perspex boundary and use the data obtained to
find the critical angle for light traveling from Perspex to air.
Me t h o d :
Use pins to trace the passage of light through a semicircular block of perspex for various angles of
incidence. Note that the light is incident on the flat face and you must look at the alignment of
the pins through the curved surface. [If available a light box could be used to trace the rays
instead of pins].
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25
UNIT 1
MODULE 2: OSCILLATIONS AND WAVES (contd)
It is important that you take care in setting up the apparatus: if the incident ray does not go through the centre of the circle
then the refracted ray will bend again at the curved surface.
Plot a graph of against
is 90.
Also plot a linear graph with the same data and obtain a second value for the critical angle.
In your summary comment on the relative merits of the two alternative ways of handling the data.
CXC A16/U2/07
26
UNIT 1
MODULE 3: THERMAL AND MECHANICAL PROPERTIES OF MATTER
GENERAL OBJECTIVES
On completion of this Module, students should:
1.
2.
be aware of the thermal properties of materials and their practical importance in everyday life;
3.
4.
be familiar with the kinetic theory of gases and the equation of state of an ideal gas;
5.
6.
be aware of the mechanical properties of materials and their practical importance in everyday life.
SPECIFIC OBJECTIVES
1.
EXPLANATORY NOTES
1.2
describe the
thermometers;
1.3
1.4
1.5
determine temperatures in
kelvin,
in
degrees Celsius and on the empirical
centigrade scales.
physical
features
of
specific
Empirical scale
Kelvin scale
T=
273.16 K
/oC=T/K 273.15
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27
UNIT 1
MODULE 3: THERMAL AND MECHANICAL PROPERTIES OF MATTER (contd)
SPECIFIC OBJECTIVES
2.
EXPLANATORY NOTES
Thermal Properties
2.2
2.3
2.4
2.5
2.6
2.7
2.8
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28
UNIT 1
MODULE 3: THERMAL AND MECHANICAL PROPERTIES OF MATTER (contd)
SPECIFIC OBJECTIVES
EXPLANATORY NOTES
2.10
2.11
3.
Heat Transfer
3.2
to solve
3.4
3.5
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29
UNIT 1
MODULE 3: THERMAL AND MECHANICAL PROPERTIES OF MATTER (contd)
SPECIFIC OBJECTIVES
EXPLANATORY NOTES
3.7
3.8
3.9
3.6
4.
4.2
4.3
4.4
4.5
use
to deduce the equation for
the average translational kinetic energy of
monatomic molecules;
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30
or <c2>
UNIT 1
MODULE 3: THERMAL AND MECHANICAL PROPERTIES OF MATTER (contd)
SPECIFIC OBJECTIVES
EXPLANATORY NOTES
5.
EH=n Cv or EH=n Cp
5.2
Cp=Cv+R
5.3
5.4
5.5
5.6
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U=Q+W
31
UNIT 1
MODULE 3: THERMAL AND MECHANICAL PROPERTIES OF MATTER (contd)
SPECIFIC OBJECTIVES
6.
EXPLANATORY NOTES
= M/V
6.1
6.2
6.3
6.4
6.5
6.6
Hookes law
Spring constant
6.7
E=
6.8
6.9
6.10
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32
UNIT 1
MODULE 3: THERMAL AND MECHANICAL PROPERTIES OF MATTER (contd)
SPECIFIC OBJECTIVES
EXPLANATORY NOTES
6.12
and
inelastic
2.
Investigate the suitability of using iron, copper or aluminum as the metal used for making an engine
block.
3.
Investigate the heat flow through different materials of the same thickness and recommend the use of
one in the construction industry, for example, brick, concrete, glass and wood.
4.
Investigate this statement: heat flow in textiles can occur by all three methods of heat transfer, but for
metals only conduction is possible.
5.
6.
7.
8.
9.
10.
11.
Investigate the role of thermodynamics in the operation of the fourstroke petrol engine.
CXC A16/U2/07
33
UNIT 1
MODULE 3: THERMAL AND MECHANICAL PROPERTIES OF MATTER (contd)
12.
Investigate the uses of crystalline and noncrystalline solids in the semiconductor industry.
13.
14.
Investigate forceextension graphs for metal wires, glass fibres and rubber.
P R A CT I CA L A CT I V I T I E S
T he tea cher is u r ge d t o r e in for ce t he r elevan t ap p r oved c odes an d safe t y p r ac t ices du r in g t
h e d e l i v e r y of al l p r ac t i c al ac t i v i t i e s i n t he M odu l e .
LATENT HEAT
R e f e r t o S p e c i f i c O b j e ct i v e 2 . 9
Aim :
To determine:
Method:
(i)
(ii)
(a)
The more sophisticated apparatus in the text may not be available, in which case the apparatus
shown below can be used. The principle is the same. The energy supplied after the liquid has
started to boil is equal to the heat required to boil off a mass n of liquid plus the heat to the
surroundings, H, that is, Vlt=mL+H.
If the procedure is repeated with different values of V and I but with the same time, t, then the last term
may be eliminated by subtraction. (Explain why the heat loss is the same in both cases, provided the time
is the same).
CXC A16/U2/07
34
UNIT 1
MODULE 3: THERMAL AND MECHANICAL PROPERTIES OF MATTER (contd)
(b)
A Styrofoam cup, which has a negligible heat capacity, is to be used as the calorimeter.
Carefully consider the possible errors in this method before starting. A good way of reducing the effect of the
surroundings is to start the experiment with the water in the cup above room temperature and add small
pieces of dried ice until the temperature is same amount below room temperature.
(a)
(b)
M et h od :
St r e t c h i ng g l a s s c o ul d b e d a ng e r o us s o t h i s p a r t o f t h e e x p e r i m e n t w i l l b e p e rfo rm e d b y
th e l a b or at or y a ssist a n t . Wa r n i n g : BE V ER Y C A R EF U L wi t h t h e g l a s s . D o n ot
hav e y our e y e s n e ar i t at an y t i m e .
You will be provided with a piece of rubber band. Add loads to it until it breaks and make other necessary
measurements so that you can work out the breaking stress.
Using a similar piece of rubber to that in (a) add masses in 100 g increments until the load is 300 g less
than the maximum. For each load measure the extension of the rubber. Continue measuring the extension as
the load is removed. Plot a graph to illustrate your results.
Note:
It is best not to measure the length of the rubber between the support and the knot because the rubber
might slip. Instead use two fine ink marks drawn on the band.
(Preparation: Glass rod is heated and a hook made. Then it is heated in the centre and stretched to produce a thin
section.)
(so d a g l a ss)
CXC A16/U2/07
35
UNIT 2:
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
7.
8.
SPECIFIC OBJECTIVES
1.
EXPLANATORY NOTES
Ele c t r i c a l Q u a n t i t i e s
1.2
1.3
1.4
1.5
CXC A16/U2/07
36
UNIT 2
MODULE 1: ELECTRICITY AND MAGNETISM (contd)
SPECIFIC OBJECTIVES
EXPLANATORY NOTES
1.7
1.8
1.9
1.10
2.
Electrical Circuits
2.2
2.3
2.4
CXC A16/U2/07
37
UNIT 2
MODULE 1: ELECTRICITY AND MAGNETISM (contd)
SPECIFIC OBJECTIVES
EXPLANATORY NOTES
2.6
2.7
2.8
2.9
3.
Ele c t r i c F i e l d s
3.2
3.3
3.4
CXC A16/U2/07
38
UNIT 2
MODULE 1: ELECTRICITY AND MAGNETISM (contd)
SPECIFIC OBJECTIVES
EXPLANATORY NOTES
3.6
use
E is a vector.
to a point charge;
3.7
3.8
F=EQ
3.9
3.10
3.11
3.12
for the
CXC A16/U2/07
39
UNIT 2
MODULE 1: ELECTRICITY AND MAGNETISM (contd)
SPECIFIC OBJECTIVES
EXPLANATORY NOTES
4.
addition
in Specific
Cap a c i t o r s
4.2
4.3
4.4
4.5
and
to
solve problems;
4.6
Q= Q0exp
I= I0exp
V=V0exp
(RC is the time constant and measured in
seconds.)
CXC A16/U2/07
40
UNIT 2
MODULE 1: ELECTRICITY AND MAGNETISM (contd)
SPECIFIC OBJECTIVES
EXPLANATORY NOTES
Capacitors (contd)
Students should be able to:
4.7
5.
M ag n e t i c F i e l d s
Q, V or I against t.
5.2
5.3
6.
Magnetic Forces
6.2
6.3
CXC A16/U2/07
41
UNIT 2
MODULE 1: ELECTRICITY AND MAGNETISM (contd)
SPECIFIC OBJECTIVES
EXPLANATORY NOTES
Mag n e t i c F o r c e s ( c o n t d )
Students should be able to:
6.4
6.5
6.6
6.7
6.8
6.9
6.10
6.11
CXC A16/U2/07
42
UNIT 2
MODULE 1: ELECTRICITY AND MAGNETISM (contd)
SPECIFIC OBJECTIVES
7.
EXPLANATORY NOTES
Electromagnetic Induction
7.2
7.3
In your explanation,
Objective 7.5.
7.4
7.5
7.6
7.7
7.8
CXC A16/U2/07
refer
to
Specific
43
UNIT 2
MODULE 1: ELECTRICITY AND MAGNETISM (contd)
SPECIFIC OBJECTIVES
EXPLANATORY NOTES
for the
ideal transformer.
Suggested Teaching and Learning Activities
To facilitate students attainment of the objectives of this Module, teachers are advised to engage students in Practical
Activities outlined below.
P R A CT I CA L A CT I V I T I E S
T he tea cher is u r ged to r ein for ce the r el evant app r oved c odes an d sa fe ty p r a ct ices du r in g t
h e d e l i v e r y of al l pr ac t i c al ac t i v i t i e s i n t he M odu l e .
T H E M A G N ET I C F I ELD O F A S O L EN O I D
R e f e r t o Sp e c if ic Ob je ct iv e 5. 3
Aim :
This experiment uses a Hall probe and a direct current flowing in the solenoid. The reading on the voltmeter connected to
the probe is directly proportional to B. Sometimes, the meter is already calibrated in mT but usually a conversation factor is
used.
Method:
(a)
Two of the solenoids provided have the same area and length but a different number of
turns (which is marked on them). Ensuring that the currents are the same in each by
connecting them in series, investigate how B at the centre of the solenoid depends on n, the turn
concentration, for at least three different current values.
Also move the probe from side to see how the field varies across the solenoid.
(b)
Choose a pair of solenoids with the same number of turns per unit length, n, but different areas
and investigate how B depends on the area of crosssection when the other factors are kept
constant. Repeat with different currents.
(c)
Investigate how the field at the centre of a solenoid depends on the current flowing in it.
Find B at various positions along the solenoid axis and plot a graph to display your results.
CXC A16/U2/07
44
UNIT 2
MODULE 1: ELECTRICITY AND MAGNETISM (contd)
FO R C E O N C U R R E N T  CAR R Y I N G CO N D U CT O R
Re f e r t o S p e c i f i c O b j e c t i v e 6 . 3
Aim :
M ethod:
Set up the apparatus shown above so that an upward force will be exerted on the wire when the
current is flowing. Before switching on, press the tare bar on the balance to set the reading at zero.
Since the conductor is forced upward, an equal and apposite force will push the magnet down
(Newton III) so the force on the wire may be calculated from the balance reading.
According to the texts, the force on a currentcarrying wire AT RIGHT ANGLES to a uniform
field is:
(a) proportional to the current, I, flowing in the conductor;
(b) proportional to the length, L, of the conductor.
CXC A16/U2/07
45
UNIT 2
MODULE 1: ELECTRICITY AND MAGNETISM (contd)
TH E LA W S O F ELEC TR O M A G N ETI C I N D U C TI O N
Re f e r t o S p e c i f i c O b j e c t i v e 7 . 4
Aim :
To test the Faraday relationship: induced e.m.f. equals the rate of change of magnetic flux linkage.
Theor y
Flux linkage = NAB where N is the number of turns in the secondary coil, A is the area of the coil and B is the magnetic
flux density produced by the primary coil.
To investigate the relationship above, two of the quantities must remain constant while the third is varied. (Note that the
rate of change of B depends on the rate of change of I which is proportional to the frequency).
Apparatus: Pair of solenoids of square crosssection; one has twice the area of the other.
Signal generator: use the low impedance output and set the frequency on the 100 to 1000 Hz range.
Cathode ray oscilloscope for measuring the peak induced voltage.
A.C. ammeter to ensure that the current is constant (so that B is constant).
Long length of insulated copper wire to wind various numbers of turns on the solenoids.
CXC A16/U2/07
46
UNIT 2
MODULE 2: A.C. THEORY AND ELECTRONICS
GENERAL OBJECTIVES
On completion of this Module, students should:
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
SPECIFIC OBJECTIVES
1.
EXPLANATORY NOTES
Alternating Currents
1.2
1.3
1.4
CXC A16/U2/07
47
UNIT 2
MODULE 2: A.C. THEORY AND ELECTRONICS (contd)
SPECIFIC OBJECTIVES
2.
EXPLANATORY NOTES
2.3
2.4
2.5
2.6
2.7
2.8
2.9
CXC A16/U2/07
48
UNIT 2
MODULE 2: A.C. THEORY AND ELECTRONICS (contd)
SPECIFIC OBJECTIVES
3.
EXPLANATORY NOTES
Transducers
3.2
4.
Operational Amplifiers
4.2
4.3
4.4
4.5
4.6
4.7
CXC A16/U2/07
of
the
ideal
49
UNIT 2
MODULE 2: A.C. THEORY AND ELECTRONICS (contd)
SPECIFIC OBJECTIVES
EXPLANATORY NOTES
4.9
4.10
4.11
4.12
4.13
4.14
4.15
4.16
CXC A16/U2/07
50
UNIT 2
MODULE 2: A.C. THEORY AND ELECTRONICS (contd)
SPECIFIC OBJECTIVES
EXPLANATORY NOTES
4.18
5.
Logic Gates
5.2
5.3
5.4
5.5
5.6
CXC A16/U2/07
51
UNIT 2
MODULE 2: A.C. THEORY AND ELECTRONICS (contd)
SPECIFIC OBJECTIVES
EXPLANATORY NOTES
draw a circuit to show the construction of a halfadder and explain its operations;
5.8
5.9
5.10
5.11
5.12
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
7.
Measure the bandwidth of an operational amplifier circuit and determine the effect of negative
feedback on bandwidth.
CXC A16/U2/07
52
UNIT 2
MODULE 2: A.C. THEORY AND ELECTRONICS (contd)
8.
Construct simple amplifier circuits and investigate their response to different signals.
9.
Investigate operational amplifier circuits, which use various input and output transducers.
10.
Design and construct digital circuits using logic gates to perform functions such as alarms and door
locks.
11.
Construct and test flipflop circuits using logic gates to switch devices on and off in a controlled
fashion.
CXC A16/U2/07
53
UNIT 2
MODULE 2: A.C. THEORY AND ELECTRONICS (contd)
P R A CT I CA L A CT I V I T I E S
T he tea cher is u r ge d t o r e in for ce t he r elevan t ap p r oved c odes an d safe t y p r ac t ices du r in g t
h e d e l i v e r y of al l p r ac t i c al ac t i v i t i e s i n t he M odu l e .
T H E G A I N O F A N I N V ER T I N G A M P L I F I ER
R e f e r t o Sp e c i f i c O b j e c t i v e 4 . 1 1
Aim :
To plot the transfer characteristic of an op. amp. connected as an inverting amplifier and
measure its gain.
M ethod:
Set up the circuit shown. Use one of the potential dividers provided on the op. amp. Board to control the
input and digital voltmeters to monitor the input and the output p.d.s.
Use the data collected to plot the transfer characteristic (Vo against Vi).
Find the gain of the amplifier from a second graph of the linear region only and compare the value with the theoretical value.
CXC A16/U2/07
54
UNIT 2
MODULE 2: A.C. THEORY AND ELECTRONICS (contd)
T H E F R EQ U EN C Y R ES P O N S E O F A N O N  IN V E R T I N G A M P L I F IE R
R e f e r t o Sp e c i f i c O b j e c t i v e 4 . 1 1
Aim :
To investigate how the gain of an amplifier changes when the frequency is increased.
Method:
Using one of the blue op. amp. circuit boards, set up a noninverting amplifier with a feedback resistance
of 1000
and input resistance of 10
. Theoretically the gain should be 101 but, given the
tolerance of the resistors, it can be taken as 100 for the purposes of this investigation.
Use an audiofrequency signal generator to provide a sinusoidal input and monitor both the input signal and the output using
a double beam oscilloscope.
Note:
1.
Make sure that both the gain controls of the c.r.o. are set on calibrate before taking measurements.
2.
A quick way to check that the gain of the noninverting amplifier is 100 is to set the gain (volts per division) for the
output trace on a value 100 times bigger than that for the input trace. If the gain is 100 the two traces will then
be the same size.
3.
If the output is saturated the input signal may be reduced using the volume control and/or the attenuator control.
Repeat the investigation using a gain of about 1000 and plot log graphs to display the results of your investigation.
CXC A16/U2/07
55
UNIT 2
MODULE 3: ATOMIC AND NUCLEAR PHYSICS
GENERAL OBJECTIVES
On completion of this Module, students should:
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
SPECIFIC OBJECTIVES
1.
EXPLANATORY NOTES
1.2
1.3
1.4
1.5
= h f
Or hf = + eVs
1.6
CXC A16/U2/07
to solve
56
UNIT 2
MODULE 3: ATOMIC AND NUCLEAR PHYSICS (contd)
SPECIFIC OBJECTIVES
EXPLANATORY NOTES
1.8
1.9
1.10
1.11
1.12
1.13
1.14
1.15
distinguish
between
emission line spectra;
1.16
CXC A16/U2/07
absorption
and
57
UNIT 2
MODULE 3: ATOMIC AND NUCLEAR PHYSICS (contd)
SPECIFIC OBJECTIVES
EXPLANATORY NOTES
describe and
interpret
the
evidence
provided by electron diffraction for the
wave nature of particles;
1.18
1.19
2.
de
as
of
Broglie
Atomic Structure
2.2
2.3
2.4
2.5
2.6
CXC A16/U2/07
to solve
For example,
58
UNIT 2
MODULE 3: ATOMIC AND NUCLEAR PHYSICS (contd)
SPECIFIC OBJECTIVES
3.1
3.2
3.3
3.4
3.5
3.6
3.7
3.8
4.
EXPLANATORY NOTES
Radioactivity
4.2
4.3
CXC A16/U2/07
59
UNIT 2
MODULE 3: ATOMIC AND NUCLEAR PHYSICS (contd)
SPECIFIC OBJECTIVES
EXPLANATORY NOTES
Radioactivity (contd)
Students should be able to:
4.4
4.5
4.6
4.7
4.8
explain activity, decay constant and halflife, and use the relationship
;
4.9
use
the
law
of
hazards
decay
of
and
to solve problems;
4.10
use
the
relation
to
solve
problems;
4.11
4.12
4.13
CXC A16/U2/07
60
UNIT 2
MODULE 3: ATOMIC AND NUCLEAR PHYSICS (contd)
Suggested Teaching and Learning Activities
To facilitate students attainment of the objectives of this Module, teachers are advised to engage students in teaching and
learning activities listed below.
1.
Examine the line spectra of different substances to deduce information about energy levels.
2.
Measure the absorption effect of different materials of different thickness (on the three types of
radioactive emissions).
3.
4.
CXC A16/U2/07
61
UNIT 2
MODULE 3: ATOMIC AND NUCLEAR PHYSICS (contd)
P R A CT I CA L A CT I V I T I E S
T he tea cher is u r ge d t o r e in for ce t he r elevan t ap p r oved c odes an d safe t y p r ac t ices du r in g
t h e d e l i v e r y of al l pr ac t i c al ac t i v i t i e s i n t he M odu l e .
R A D I O A CT I V I T Y
R e f e r t o Sp e c if ic Ob je ct iv e 4. 2
Aim s:
(a)
(b)
Method:
(a)
Radium226 has a halflife of 1620 years and so its activity cannot change appreciably
during the course of an experiment.
Set the scalertimer on rate and continuous. Bring the radium source close to the GM
tube and leave it fixed in this position. Obtain a series of readings for the countrate and plot
them on a histogram to show their distribution about the mean value.
(b)
with
either much longer or much shorter than thoron gas so they do not contribute to the activity of the
sample of the gas. The thorium is in powdered form in a sealed plastic bottle and the thoron gas
is produced in the air space above the powder.
Set the scaler timer to count. Find the background countrate by switching on the counter for 100s. This value is
used to correct the countrates in the thoron decay.
Using twotubes with oneway valves, the radon gas can be transferred into a bottle containing the end of a GeigerMuller tube by squeezing the thorium bottle a few times. The whole system is sealed and should be quite safe but to
make sure, keep all the windows open and if a n y le a k o c c u r s, e v a c u a t e t h e r o o m , a n d r e p o r t t o y o u r
te a c h e r o r th e l a b or at or y t e c h n ic ia n im m e d ia t e ly .
When the gas is transferred, switch on the counter and start timing. Record the count every 20 seconds for about 5
minutes. From these readings the number of decays in each 20s interval can be found and hence the countrate at
10s, 30s, 50s.
Plot a graph to show how the activity varies with time and use the graph to obtain a value for the halflife of the
radon.
The activity of the thoron (radon220) will decay exponentially so you should be able to derive an equation suitable
for plotting a linear graph from which the halflife may also be found. By selecting the part of the graph before the
decay gets too random a more precise value than the first one may be obtained.
CXC A16/U2/07
62
UNIT 2
MODULE 3: ATOMIC AND NUCLEAR PHYSICS (contd)
R A D I O A C T I V E D E C A Y S I M U LA T I O N
R e f e r t o Sp e c if ic Ob je ct iv e 4. 8
Aim :
M ethod:
Throw the entire set of 500 cubes into the large tray provided and remove every cube with a six facing up.
It may be necessary to carefully move some of the cubes so that they are not stacked on top each other.
Place the remaining cubes into the original container and repeat the entire process until less than 10 cubes
are left. Plot the total number left for each trial against the throw number. You should remember that the
curve should be smooth. It does not need to go through every point.
Also, use the data to plot a linear graph. From each graph determine the halflife of your cubes in terms of
throws and, from this, find the decay constant.
How does the decay constant compare with the probability of an individual cube decaying?
H A L F  L I F E O F A CA P A CI T O R D I S CH A R G E
R e f e r t o Sp e c if ic Ob je ct iv e 4. 9
Aim :
Theor y
During discharge, the p.d. across a capacitor varies exponentially:
Use this equation to derive the relationship between RC and the halflife of the discharge (that is, the time it takes for the
p.d. to fall
M ethod:
/2
.
You will be provided with a set of 1% tolerance resistors and a high impedance (digital) voltmeter. Design
a suitable circuit and have the supervisor check it before switching on.
Use the circuit to find the average time it takes for the p.d. to reduce to half its initial value. Vary the
value of R to obtain sufficient data to plot a suitable linear graph. Use the graph to determine the given
capacitance.
CXC A16/U2/07
63
OUTLINE OF ASSESSMENT
EXTERNAL ASSESSMENT
(80%)
Paper 01
(1 hour 30 minutes)
40%
Paper 02
(2 hours 30 minutes)
40%
INTERNAL ASSESSMENT
(20%)
ASSESSMENT DETAILS
Each Unit of the syllabus is assessed as outlined below.
External Assessment by Written Papers (80% of Total Assessment)
1.
There will be a combined question paper and answer booklet for Paper 01, and for Section A of
Paper 02. A separate answer booklet will be provided for Section B of Paper 02.
2.
3.
The use of silent, nonprogrammable calculators will be allowed in the examination. Candidates are
responsible for providing their own calculators.
CXC A16/U2/07
64
2.
Mark Allocation
The paper will be worth 45 marks, with each question being allocated 1 mark.
3.
Question Type
Questions may be presented using diagrams, data, graphs, prose or other stimulus material.
Composition of Paper
This paper will consist of two sections.
Questions on this paper test all three skills KC, UK and XS.
Section A will consist of three compulsory structured questions testing the application of experimental skills, one question
from each Module.
Section B will consist of three compulsory essay questions, one from each Module. Knowledge of the entire Unit is
expected.
2.
Mark Allocation
The paper will be worth 90 marks.
Section A  each question
Section B  each essay
Total marks of Section A
Total marks of Section B
3.
15 marks
15 marks
45 marks
45 marks
Question Type
Questions in Section A will be presented in a structured form. The questions will test KC and UK skills.
Questions in Section B will be essays. The mark allocation for each section will be included.
Answers for this section are to be written in a separate answer booklet. The questions will test KC, UK and XS skills.
CXC A16/U2/07
65
In each Unit, a total of 12 marks are to be allocated for each skill as indicated in the Table on page 67.
CXC A16/U2/07
66
Table
Internal Assessment Skills
Skills
Unit 1
Unit 2
12 marks
12 marks
12 marks
12 marks
12 marks
12 marks
12 marks
12 marks
48 marks
48 marks
TOTAL
*Five of the 12 marks for Observation, Recording and Reporting (ORR) are to be awarded for communicating
information in a logical way using correct grammar as described in the definition of the Observation, Recording
and Reporting skills on pages 3 and 4. Teachers are required to provide criteria which clearly indicate how they
award marks.
Each Module carries a maximum of 16 marks.
Each candidates Internal Assessment mark for any Unit should be divided by three and allocated to Each Module
equally.
Fractional marks should not be awarded. Wherever the Unit mark is not divisible by three, then
(a)
(b)
Appropriate practical exercises for assessing any skill may be selected from any Module in the relevant Unit.
Teachers should aim to have candidates perform four or five practicals per module.
Specific Guidelines for Teachers
1.
Each candidate is required to keep a laboratory workbook which is to be marked by the teacher.
Teachers are also expected to assess candidates as they perform practical exercises in which
Manipulation and Measurement skills are required.
2.
3.
The maximum mark for any skill will be 12. The mark recorded for each skill assessed by practical exercises
should be the average of at LEAST TWO separate assessments. In each Unit, total marks awarded at the
end of each Module will be 0 to 16.
CXC A16/U2/07
67
4.
Specific Objectives lending themselves to practical work are highlighted by single underlining. However,
teachers need not confine their practical exercises to these objectives.
For each Unit, marks must be submitted to CXC on the Internal Assessment forms provided. The forms
should be despatched through the Local Registrar for submission to CXC by May 31 of the year of the
examination.
2.
The Internal Assessment Forms for each Unit should be completed in duplicate. The original should be
submitted to CXC and the copy retained by the school.
3.
CXC will require a sample of the laboratory books for external moderation. Additional laboratory books
may be required. These laboratory books must be retained by the school for at least three months after
publication of examination results.
4.
Candidates who do not fulfill the requirements for the Internal Assessment will be considered absent from
the whole examination.
5.
candidates laboratory books should contain all practical work undertaken during the course of
study. Those exercises which are selected for use for Internal Assessment should be clearly
identified. The skill(s) tested in these practical exercises, the marks assigned and the scale used
must be placed next to the relevant exercises;
(ii)
teachers criteria and breakdown of marks for assessing a skill must be clearly stated and submitted
with the laboratory books;
(iii)
the relationship between the marks in the laboratory books and those submitted on the Internal
Assessment Form should be clearly shown;
(iv)
Candidates who are registered privately will be required to sit Papers 01, 02 and 03B. Detailed
information on Papers 01 and 02 is given on page 65 of this syllabus.
2.
 20%
This paper will be of 2 hours duration and will consist of TWO practical questions.
The examination will be designed to test the same skills (Table 1 on page 67) as the Internal Assessment.
CXC A16/U2/07
68
ASSESSMENT GRID
The Assessment Grid for each Unit contains marks assigned to papers and to Modules and percentage contribution
of each paper to total scores.
Papers
Module 1
Module 2
Module 3
Total
(% )
15
30 (weighted)
15
30 (weighted)
15
30 (weighted)
45
90 (weighted)
(40)
15
15
15
15
15
15
45
45
(40)
Internal Assessment
Papers 03A or 03B
16
16
16
48
(20)
TO TAL
76
76
76
228
(100)
External Assessment
Paper 01
(1hour 30 minutes)
Multiple Choice
Paper 02
(2 hours 30 minutes)
A. Structured questions
B. Essay questions
CXC A16/U2/07
69
RESOURCES
TEXTBOOKS
Recommended Texts
Adams, Steve and Allay, Jonathan
Breithaupt, Jim
Muncaster, Roger
Supplementary Texts
Christman, Richard J.
Duncan, Tom
Duncan, Tom
Floyd, Thomas
Giancoli, Douglas C.
Hallsworth, K.D.
CXC A16/U2/07
70
GLOSSARY
KEY TO ABBREVIATIONS
KC Knowledge and Comprehension
UK Use of Knowledge
XS Experimental Skills
WORD
DEFINITION
NOTES
Analyse
examine in details.
(UK)
Annotate
Apply
(UK)
Assess
(UK)
Calculate
(UK)
Cite
(KC)
Classify
(UK)
Comment
(UK)
Compare
(UK)
Construct
(UK)
CXC A16/U2/07
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WORD
DEFINITION
NOTES
Deduce
(UK)
Define
(KC)
Demonstrate
(KC/UK)
Derive
(UK)
Describe
(KC)
Design
(UK/XS)
Determine
(UK)
Develop
(UK)
Differentiate or
Distinguish
(KC/UK)
Discuss
(UK)
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WORD
DEFINITION
NOTES
Draw
(KC/UK)
Estimate
(UK)
Evaluate
(UK)
Explain
(KC/UK)
Find
(KC)
Formulate
(UK)
Identify
requires
the
naming
components or features.
specific
(KC)
Illustrate
using
(KC)
Interpret
Investigate
Label
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of
(UK)
(KC)
WORD
DEFINITION
NOTES
List
(KC)
Measure
(UK/XS)
Name
(KC)
Note
(KC/XS)
Observe
(UK/XS)
Plan
(XS)
Predict
(UK)
Record
(XS)
Relate
(UK)
Show
See Demonstrate.
Sketch
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(KC/UK/XS)
WORD
DEFINITION
NOTES
State
(KC)
Suggest
(UK)
Test
(UK/XS)
Use
(UK)
CXC A16/U2/07
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Oscillations and
Waves
Thermal and
Mechanical
Properties of Matter
Electromagnetism
CXC A16/U2/07
1.
2.
3.
4.
1.
2.
1.
2.
1.
2.
3.
Hall probe.
4.
Signal generator.
5.
C.R.O.
6.
76
A .C . . T h e o r y a n d E l e c t r o n i c s
Atomic and
Nuclear Physics
1.
2.
3.
4.
1.
2.
GM tubes.
3.
Geiger counters.
4.
CXC A16/U2/07
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6.67 x 10 11 N m2 kg2
9.80 m s 2
RE
6380 km
ME
5.98 x 10 24 kg
MM
7.35 x 10 22 kg
Atmosphere
Atm
1.00 x 10 5 N m 2
Boltzmann's constant
1.38 x 10 23 J K 1
9.00 x 10 9 N m 2 C 2
Coulomb constant
me
9.11 x 10 31 kg
Electron charge
1.60 x 10 19 C
Density of water
1.00 x 10 3 kg m 3
Resistivity of steel
1.98 x 10 7 m
Resistivity of copper
1.80 x 10 8 m
400 W m 1 K 1
910 J kg 1 K 1
387 J kg 1 K 1
4200 J kg 1 K 1
3.34 x 10 5 J kg1
Avogadro number
NA
6.02 x 10
4 x 107 H m1
CXC A16/U2/07
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per mole
6.63 x 1034 J s
1.66 x 1027 kg
mp
1.67 x 1027 kg
Mass of neutron
mn
1.67 x 1027 kg
CXC A16/U2/07
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MATHEMATICAL REQUIREMENTS
Arithmetic
Students should be able to:
1.
recognise and use expressions in decimal and standard form (scientific notation);
2.
3.
use appropriate calculating aids (electronic calculator or tables) for addition, subtraction, multiplication
and division. Find arithmetic means, powers (including reciprocals and square roots), sines, cosines,
tangents (and the inverse functions), natural and base10 (In and Ig);
4.
take account of accuracy in numerical work and handle calculations so that significant figures are
neither lost unnecessarily nor carried beyond what is justified;
5.
Algebra
Students should be able to:
1.
change the subject of an equation. Most relevant equations involve only the simpler operations but
may include positive and negative indices and square roots;
2.
solve simple algebraic equations. Most relevant equations are linear but some may involve inverse and
inverse square relationships. Linear simultaneous equations and the use of the formula to obtain the
solution of quadratic equations are included;
3.
substitute physical quantities into physical equations, using consistent units and check the dimensional
consistency of such equations;
4.
formulate simple algebraic equations as mathematical models of physical situations, and identify
inadequacies of such models;
5.
recognise and use the logarithmic forms of expressions like ab, a/b, xn, ekx , and understand the use of
logarithms in relation to quantities with values that range over several orders of magnitude;
6.
7.
CXC A16/U2/07
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, , x, x, .
calculate areas of rightangled and isosceles triangles, circumferences and areas of circles and areas and
volumes of rectangular blocks, cylinders and spheres;
2.
use Pythagoras' theorem, similarity of triangles, and the sum of the angles of a triangle;
3.
use sines, cosines and tangents (especially for 0, 30, 45, 60, 90,).
relationship for triangles:
;
4.
use sin tan and cos 1 for small and sin2 + cos2 = 1;
5.
understand the relationship between degrees and radians (defined as arc/radius), translate from one to
the other and use the appropriate system in context.
Vectors
Students should be able to:
1.
find the resultant of two coplanar vectors, recognising situations where vector addition is appropriate;
2.
obtain expressions for components of a vector in perpendicular directions and using this to add or subtract
vectors.
Graphs
Students should be able to:
1.
2.
3.
4.
choose by inspection, a line which will serve as the best line through a set of data points presented
graphically;
5.
recall standard linear form y = m x + c and rearrange relationships into linear form where appropriate;
CXC A16/U2/07
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6.
sketch and recognise the forms of plots of common simple expressions like 1/x, x2, a/x2, sin x, cos x,
ex, sin2 x, cos2 x;
7.
8.
understand, draw and use the slope of a tangent to a curve as a means to obtain the gradient, and use
notation in the form dy/dx for a rate of change;
9.
understand and use the area below a curve, where the area has physical significance.
CXC A16/U2/07
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Us u a l S y mb o l s
Us u a l Un i t
mass
kg
length
time
electric current
Luminous intensity
Iv
cd
thermodynamic temperature
amount of substance
mol
distance
displacement
s, x
area
m2
volume
V, v
m3
density
kg m3
speed
u, v, w, c
m s1
velocity
u, v, w, c
m s1
acceleration
m s2
m s2
force
Base Quantities
Other Quantities
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Us u a l S y mb o l s
Us u a l Un i t
weight
momentum
Ns
work energy
w, W
potential energy
E, U, W
Ep
kinetic energy
Ek
heat energy
power
pressure
Pa
torque
Nm
gravitational constant
N kg2 m2
N kg1
gravitational potential
J kg1
angle
, rad
angular displacement
, rad
angular speed
rad s1
angular velocity
rad s1
period
frequency
Hz
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Us u a l S y mb o l s
Us u a l Un i t
angular frequency
rad s1
wavelength
m s1
electric charge
elementary charge
electric potential
electromotive force
resistance
resistivity
N C1, V m1
F m1
capacitance
time constant
magnetic flux
Wb
H m1
stress
Pa
strain
force constant
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N m1
85
Us u a l S y mb o l s
Us u a l Un i t
Young modulus
Pa
Celsius temperature
J K1 mol1
Boltzmann constant
J K1
Avogadro constant
NA
mol1
m3
Planck constant
Js
Bq
decay constant
s1
halflife
Ar
Mr
atomic mass
ma
kg, u
electron mass
me
kg, u
neutron mass
mn
kg, u
proton mass
mp
kg, u
molar mass
kg
proton number
nucleon number
neutron number
StefanBoltzmann constant
W m2 K4
Wes t e r n Z o n e O f f i c e
2007/06/26
CXC A16/U2/07
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MAY/JUNE 2004
PHYSICS
2PHYSICS
CARIBBEAN ADVANCED PROFICIENCY EXAMINATION
MAY/JUNE 2004
GENERAL COMMENTS
UNIT 1 & 2
The number of entries for Cape Physics in 2004 increased markedly
over that for 2003: from 411 to 793 for Unit 1 and from 269 to 318 for
Unit 2. Although the performances on Paper 01 in both units were
similar in the two years that on Paper 02 was not. In both units the
mean score on Paper 02 was around 28 out of ninety which is hardly
satisfactory.
Some of the reasons identified for the poor performance on Paper 02
were:
Candidates inability to satisfactorily complete derivations of formulae specified in the syllabus.
Poor reasoning skills resulting in confused written explanations
of physical phenomena
Whilst candidates could score marks in Paper1 for selecting and
substituting in the correct formula, Paper 02 required a higher
level of problem solving skill. Where successful calculation of a
quantity required two or more steps, many of the candidates could
not even get started and therefore lost valuable credit.
In the data analysis questions at the start of the paper candidates
lacked the skills necessary to extract and apply information from
graphs.
The development of the higher level skills outlined above takes time
and experience. It is hoped that once teachers are aware of these
deficiencies that curricula can be modified so that future CAPE candidates will the opportunity to practise these and become more proficient and more confident.
3
DETAILED COMMENTS
UNIT 1
PAPER 01
Module 1
Question 1
The mean score on this straightforward Newtons law question was a
low 3.1 marks out of 10.
Few candidates realised in Part (b) that a freebody vector diagram of
the accelerated pendulum bob would allow them to find the horizontal component of the tension in the string and hence the resultant
force and acceleration.
For one mark candidates were asked to state that the gravitational
pull by the bob on the Earth was the Third Law partner of the weight
of the bob. Only the better candidates scored this mark.
Question 2
At this level candidates should know that gravity does not reverse its
direction. Yet when asked to sketch the velocitytime and accelerationtime graphs for a bouncing ball far too many candidates forgot
this fact and only 25 per cent of them were able to score more than
half of the marks.
Question 3
The performance on this Module 1 question was no better than that
on the other two. The structured calculation in Part (c), which required candidates to calculate the kinetic energy of a crate sliding
down a ramp by subtracting the work done against friction from the
change in potential energy, proved to be too difficult for the average
candidate.
In Part (b), surprisingly, few candidates realised that an object trav
5
Question 8
More candidates scored zero on this question than any other and
more candidates scored full marks than on any other question. Perhaps the question was not difficult but the 25 per cent of the population who scored zero had never been exposed to the kinetic theory
of gases in class.
Question 9
More than half of the candidates could score no more than 2 marks
out of ten on this question about heat transfer. The graphs for the
temperature drop across the wall of a boiler coated with scale were
especially poor. The Examiners were merely looking for a larger temperature drop across the scale than across the copper wall. (Mean
score 2.7)
UNIT 1
PAPER 02
Section A
Module 1
Question 1
Candidates were asked to analyse data, given in the form of a graph,
concerning the motion of a ball rolling down a ramp and bouncing
back from a barrier at the end of the slope. They did this poorly with
only about 20 per cent of them able to achieve half marks. Perhaps
more discussion in class of comprehension exercises such as this
would improve the performance in future. A mean score of 2.5 out of
10 is hardly satisfactory.
Module 2
Question 2
Since many candidates could not write down the formula for the
6
resonance tube this question also had a low mean score (2.5).
Module 3
Question 3
The material in question 3, specific heat capacity, seemed to be much
more well known as reflected by a mean score of 5.1. It was generally
done well but marks were often lost by even the better candidates
when they ignored the instruction to use the graph when finding the
specific heat capacity of the block.
Section B
Module 1
Question 4
This question was not very popular, all but 52 candidates preferred
to attempt Question 5.
Their answers to Part (b) about the motion of a geostationary satellite
were for the most part quite satisfactory as were their calculations of
the frequency of revolution for a mass undergoing horizontal circular motion However their lack of understanding of motion in a
vertical circle caused most candidates to lose the seven marks in
Part (d).
Question 5
Candidates did better on this question than on any other on the
paper. The mean score was only 9.4/20. The main errors were:
Imprecise definitions and statements, for example, omitting
if no external forces act from the momentum conservation
law.
Expecting, using data from an experiment, exact equality for
monentum before and after a collision when asked if the
data was consistent with the law.
7
Module 2
Question 6
The responses to this question were generally poor. Of those who
attempted it (about 300 candidates) only 10 scored half marks.
Most candidates scored some marks for the resonancetube calculation in Part (b) but their understanding of refraction of sound waves,
Part (a), and interference of sound waves, Part (c), was very limited.
(Mean score 2.8/20)
Question 7
This was the more popular of the Module 2 questions and the mean
score was better but still not satisfactory (4.9) Deriving the formula
for the period of a simple pendulum proved to be surprisingly difficult for many candidates and the failure to understand the use of
radians in the formulae for S.H.M. caused further substantial loss of
credit.
Module 3
Question 8
With nearly 90 per cent of the population choosing to attempt this
item, the examiners expected candidates to have a good understanding
of calorimetry and thermal radiation. But they were to be disappointed. The level of the responses to Part (a) in particular were
often below the standard that would have been required at CSEC
level. At this level a candidate should know that specific latent heat
involves unit mass of substance?
8
Stefans formula for thermal radiation was unfamiliar to most candidates so that could score very few marks in Part (b). The more able
candidates fared better in the calculations of specific latent heat and
specific heat capacity in Part (c) but their weaker colleagues failed to
understand that heating at a constant rate implied constant power
and made little progress.
Question 9
Most candidates shied away from this question about the first law of
thermodynamics. Those who did attempt it showed a poor grasp of
the meaning of the terms involved and made heavy weather, except
for sketching the graph correctly, of the thermodynamics problem in
Part (b).
UNIT 2
PAPER 01
Module 1
Question 1
Evidence provided by the responses to this question would indicate
that Kirchhoffs laws are not well understood by CAPE candidates.
For example many thought the 2nd law applied to a circuit rather
than any closed loop in a circuit.
If candidates had been taught to always draw the complete circuit
they were using they might have made better headway with Part (b)
whether they chose to utilise Kichhoff or not. The responses to Part
(b)(ii) were particularly poor with few candidates realizing that the
2 k , and 3 k resistors were connected in parallel. And many of
the candidates who did follow the correct procedure had incorrect
answers because the ignored 103 factor in the given unit of resistance. (Mean 2.6/10)
Question 2
Strangely in Part (a) some candidates thought that the magnetic field
around a currentcarrying wire was elliptical or oval. Perhaps they
9
Although they had previously recalled the formula correctly candidates were frequently unable to apply it to the problem of finding the
neutral point between two wires. A mean score of 3.2/10 was the
mediocre result.
Question 3
The performance on this question about capacitors was much better
(mean 5.9). Marks were often lost for defining capacitance imprecisely as the ability to store charge, for not stating that capacitors in
series had the same charge in Part (a) and for being careless about
the units in Part (b).
Module 2
Question 4
Most candidates recalled the formula V=IR but few had any idea how
to apply it. Familiarity with the potential divider would have made
the problemsolving easier.
As mentioned above candidates continue to be very careless with
unit prefixes so that even when they use the correct principles they
still get the numerical answers incorrectly. A mean score of 2.7 was
very disappointing.
Question 5
The performance on this straight forward question about transformers was satisfactory in the most part with a mean score of 5.8. Most
marks were lost in the final part of the question where candidates
were required to calculate the current in the secondary and then
deduce the current in the primary.
Question 6
Because of its very high gain, the terminals of an op. amp. have to be
10 
11 
UNIT 2
PAPER 02
Section A
Module 1
Question 1
This question was about an experimental determination of the e.m.f.
and internal resistance of a battery by measuring the p.d. across
various known loads. Most candidates showed a good understanding of the required circuit but their analysis of the data provided was
very weak.
It is evident that candidates do not get enough practice in the laboratory with rearranging equations to get linear graphs and then interpreting the significance of the gradient and intercept. (Mean 4.3/
10 )
Module 2
Question 2
Candidates graphs of the transformer input versus output were often carelessly drawn and the determination of the number of turns
in the primary winding from the graph=s gradient was not successfully completed by far too many candidates. A mean of 4.4 for such
a question was very disappointing.
Module 3
Question 3
Again in Question 3 candidates ability to extract information from a
linear graph, even when the equation is provided, was highlighted.
Much more laboratory work needs to be included in the Unit 2
programme if this deficiency is to be overcome. (Mean 3.1)
12
Section B
Module 1
Question 4
In Part (a), most students knew that the force was directly proportional to the product o the charges and inversely proportional to the
square of the distance between them they could not also say that it
acted along the line joining the two charges to get the third mark.
In the expression for the field experienced by a charge q2 due to q1,
candidates were confused as to which charge should be in the formula. However most were able to draw the field line diagram required in Part (iii).
Most candidates could not even score even one mark on Part (b) of
this question since they did not understand that the proton and the
electron, even though they had the same magnitude force acting on
them, would not have the same acceleration.
In Part (c), candidates seemed to know the formula for the potential
at a distance form a charge their problems solving skills were lacking
and very few were able to successfully find the total potential at the
centre of the square.
Surprisingly only one candidate scored more that half marks on this
question.(Mean 3.9/20)
Question 5
The problem solving ability of most candidates was not up to the
standard required to successfully find the mass of the unknown
particle in Part (c). The main difficulty was in not realising that
although accelerated through the same p.d. as the electron, the more
massive particle would not acquire the same velocity.
The other parts of the question were reasonably well understood
though some candidates found difficulty with the fact that a particle
in motion in a circle has no work done on it by the centripetal force.
(Mean 5.4/20)
13 
Module 2
Question 6
The proof of the formula for the gain of a noninverting amplifier was
poorly done and very few candidates scored full marks for this.
Those who attemptedPart (b) were able for the most part to correctly
calculate the maximum input voltage for the given amplifier but Part
(c) proved to be much more challenging even though the same formula was required again.
The use of an inverting amplifier as a summing amplifier in Part (d)
was not well known and resulted in most candidates losing these 4
marks.(Mean 5.4 )
Question 7
Although this digital electronics question was quite popular, and the
mean of 7.7 was better than for the alternative analogue electronics
question, it still showed up several weaknesses. For example candidates were able to draw up truth tables for the gates correctly but not
the table for a combination of gates. And the explanations of the
operation of both the halfadder and the fulladder were very confused. The description a couple of sums might have improved candidates scores significantly. The fact that most candidates were able
to determine correctly the sum and carry in Part (b) (iv) would seem
to indicate that it candidates= writing skills rather than understanding that is the problem in this case.
Module 3
Question 8
Very few candidates attempted this question and only one of those
scored half marks.
The explanations of the production Xray spectra were lacking in
detail and few of those attempting Part (a) indicated that the minimum wavelength occurred when the incident electrons lost all of
their kinetic energy in collisions with nuclei.
 14 
Rather than basing their choice of filtering material in Part (b) (ii) on
the photon energies calculated in Part (b) (i), candidates preferred to
use guesswork and so lost the available marks. The mean score of
3.0 out of 20, and the small number of candidates choosing this
question, seems to indicate that more attention needs to be paid to
this syllabus area.
Question 9
Although the mathematical problem in Part (c) was challenging the
examiners expected that candidates would be able to score heavily
on the early parts of this question so a mean score of 4.3 was very
disappointing. Many candidates started badly by not even being
able to explain the meanings of the symbols in the given radioactivity equation. This was followed by a failure to quote the equation
A= N and thus an inability to derive the required halflife equation.
Candidates were generally able to find the halflife from the given
graph in Part (b) though few bothered to make more than one estimate and take the average. Part (iii) proved to be difficult however
since few candidates noticed the link to the formula already given in
Part (a)(ii).
SBA Moderation
The examiners are of the opinion that in both Unit 1 and Unit 2 the
quality and quantity of the practical work needs to be improved. It
was again noted this year that very often the experiments were repetitions of those already performed during the CSEC course and the
spread of activities across the modules was uneven. With the removal of the project component in 2005 it is expected that a minimum of five experiments would be performed in each of the modules.
Even in topics where apparatus is limited, such as modern physics,
experiments at a suitable level which develop the required data
analysis skills can be found. For example:
Finding the half life of the discharge of a large capacitor.
15
Using dice (or cubes with one face painted black) to represent
radioactive decay.
Testing whether the flow of water from a burette is exponential.
Using a light emitting diode to determine Plancks constant.
A number of centres entered CAPE Physics for first time this year and
their mark schemes were not always consistent with the CAPE specifications. It is hoped that as they gain more experience teachers will
be able to more accurately select the criteria required to test each
skill and the moderators will less frequently have to resort to replacing teachers scores with their own.
PHYSICS
2
PHYSICS
CARIBBEAN ADVANCED PROFICIENCY EXAMINATION
MAY/JUNE 2005
GENERAL COMMENTS
UNIT 1
The number of candidates entered for Unit 1 continues to rise: this year there were
approximately 50 per cent more candidates than in 2004.
The performance on Modules 1 and 2 improved somewhat from the previous year
with mean scores of 48 per cent and 49 per cent of the maximum score respectively.
However the performance on Module 3 (Thermal and Mechanical Properties of Matter) remained weak with a mean score of only 41 per cent of the maximum score.
None of the Module 3 questions on either paper elicited good scores suggesting to
the examiners that perhaps this section of the syllabus does not have enough time
spent on it. Certainly some aspects, for example, radiation, kinetic theory, seemed not
to have been taught by many centres.
UNIT 2
The number of candidates entering Unit 2 almost doubled compared to 2004 and the
mean composite score improved slightly from 43 per cent to 46 per cent.
Again in this unit, Module 3 had a lower mean score (40 per cent) compare to the
other two modules (44 per cent for Module 1, 49 per cent for Module 2). Some may
feel that Atomic and Nuclear Physics is more difficult than the other areas but it
seems more likely that the explanation for the poor performance may lie in problems
with completing the syllabus in the teaching time available.
Teachers who are aware of the problems this year in Module 3, in both Units, may
wish to look carefully at their teaching schedules to try to ensure that the three modules receive equal weighting.
3
DETAILED COMMENTS
UNIT 1
PAPER 1
Module 1
Question 1
This question tested candidates knowledge of Newtons laws of motion and the use
of vectors and there were many excellent responses. Where marks were lost it was
often in the last part of the question: candidates were expected to point out that there
was a zero resultant force in the direction under discussion.
The examiners only disappointment was the number of candidates who had imprecise
statements of Newtons laws  mentioning an unbalanced or resultant external force
is essential in the first law and, without further explanation, action and reaction are
equal and opposite is not acceptable for the third law at this level.
Question 2
A mean score of 4.6 out of 10 on this item about alternative energy sources is not
satisfactory. Most of the marks were lost for the calculation in (c), perhaps because
there was no rehearsed formula to apply. Candidates had first to find 15 per cent of
300 W m2 and then use that value to calculate the area needed to supply 25 MW of
power. This was, surprisingly, beyond the ability of most.
Question 3
A disappointingly high number of candidates scored 0 or only 1 mark on this kinematics question. They could not draw the graphs for the motion nor could they use
equations of motion to find the velocity of a ball thrown vertically upwards.
The discussion of the effects of air resistance in Part (d) was beyond most candidates.
The examiners were merely expecting them to apply the fact that the air resistance
depends on the speed of the ball and, since it opposes the motion, changes direction
at the top of the trajectory.
Module 2
Question 4
There was a wide spread of scores on this question. Some candidates could only
score the mark for finding the spring constant in (a) whilst many others were able to
score full marks. Careless calculation of errors, especially in the use of units,
accounted for the loss of marks by the other candidates.
4
Question 5
Generally the responses to this question were satisfactory with most candidates
demonstrating a clear understanding of refraction and total internal reflection.
Credit was given to candidates who pointed out that the angle of incidence given
was greater than the critical angle as well as those who proceeded to calculate the
refractive index from a point on the graph.
Question 6
This question about the correction of long sight received many poor responses.
Very few candidates knew that the image formed by a spectacle lens has to be
virtual and, therefore, could not gain credit in Part (c).
The diagrams in Part (d) were of a particularly low standard and candidates were
unable to deduce that while looking at a distant object the reading glasses would
produce a real image behind the viewers head.
Module 3
Question 7
Careless errors in the calculations and the poor use of units contributed to
candidates mediocre scores on this question about the stretching of materials.
Question 8
It seemed that few candidates had studied radiation and the application of Stefans
law. The idea that an object would be radiating energy and receiving energy at the
same time was not understood by the minority who were familiar with the law.
Consequently, the scores on this question were low.
Question 9
In this question a graph was provided showing the changes in pressure and volume
of a sample of gas. The requested descriptions of the processes occurring were
reasonable but the calculations of the work done were very poor. In Part (iv) a
disappointingly small number of candidates realised that the change in internal
energy for a whole cycle would be zero.
5
UNIT 1
PAPER 02
Section A
Question 1
Though there was a large number of candidates scoring more than 8 out of 10 on this
question there was an equal number of candidates with such poor laboratory
experience that they could score no marks at all.
Many candidates, though they correctly filled in the log values in the table, did not
proceed to plot the required log graph to find n. The examiners feel that, at this level,
candidates should have acquired the skills to analyse data involving power laws.
Perhaps more laboratory exercises involving such relationships could be introduced
into the schools practical programmes.
Question 2
The attempts at Question 2 were much better than those for Question 1, the mean
score being higher than 5 out of 10. But even so some of the graph plotting was quite
inaccurate and the curve drawing was often poor. Few candidates understood that the
resonant frequency of the driven pendulum was equal to the natural frequency of the
driver pendulum and consequently some candidates lost credit for Part (d).
Question 3
Candidates were expected to know that the uncertainty in reading an instrument is
usually estimated as half of the smallest division and then use this uncertainty in each
reading to estimate the error in the value of a calculated specific heat capacity.
Though most candidates knew that they were to add the fractional errors in each term
of the given equation, their calculations were often inaccurate. The most common
problem was the failure to calculate the error in the temperature difference rather
than the individual temperatures.
Section B
Module 1
Question 4
This was the more popular of the two Module 1 questions but the mean score was
less than 40 per cent. The main difficulties were:

Failure in Part (a) to convincingly show that kinetic energy was not conserved in the prediction of Part (iii) but was conserved in Part (iv) even
though momentum was conserved in both cases.
6

Question 5
This question was much less popular than Question 4.
In Part (a) the explanations of the forward thrust on a light aeroplane were very
sketchy and few candidates were able to successfully calculate the mass of air
flowing per second.
In Part (b), although most candidates were able to calculate the centripetal force on a
banking aircraft their understanding of the vector nature of the external forces
involved was poor and they gained few marks for the other sections. In particular few
understood that the force exerted on the passenger by his seat must have a horizontal
component so that the passenger could also follow a circular path.
Module 2
Question 6
Although many candidates were able to successfully complete the diffraction grating
calculations, they did not demonstrate that they actually understood the principle of
the grating. The explanations of how the spectra were formed were very
disappointing.
As in other questions the incorrect conversion of units, in this case nm and mm,
proved to be the downfall of some candidates and caused their scores to be lower
than they might have been.
Question 7
The majority of candidates who attempted this question scored less than 8 marks out
of 20.
Candidates gained most of their marks in Part (a) where they were able to reproduce
the derivation of the double slit formula. In Part (b) they demonstrated little
understanding of interference and how it occurs. Few realised that speakers 1.5 m
apart could not be regarded as a point so the formula for light would not apply
especially if the observer was only 6 m away.
7
Module 3
Question 8
Though this question was just as popular as the other module 3 question, the
responses, especially in Part (b), were very poor. Candidates might be reminded that
it is best to read through the whole question before starting rather than jumping in
because the first part looks familiar.
The attempts at graph sketching in Part (b) clearly showed that candidates did not
understand that an insulator has a much larger temperature drop across it than a better
conducting material even though they were able to calculate that 20 cm of plywood
would be needed to have the same effect as 1 cm of plastic foam.
Candidates were given a choice (Part (b) (iii)) of using the equivalent conductor
determined in (ii) or using the heat flow equation to find the rate of conduction. In
fact, for the most part, they could do neither and gained very little credit.
Question 9
A large proportion of those attempting this question on the kinetic theory of gases
scored no marks at all and there were very few candidates scoring more than 50 per
cent.
Few candidates knew the meaning of r.m.s. speed so it was not surprising that the
derivations of the formula in (a)(iii) were rarely worth more than one or two marks,
nor that candidates calculations in Part (b) went astray so often.
UNIT 2
PAPER 01
Question 1
Module 1
Many candidates scored zero or only one mark on this question about drift velocity
leading the examiners to believe that this part of the syllabus had been neglected by
some centres.
For those who could attempt the question, Part (b) proved to be quite challenging,
even the straightforward determination, Part (i), of the number of electrons flowing
per second having been given the charge flowing per second. In Part (ii) even the
better candidates failed to deduce that the charge would be equivalent to 4e and the
formula would become I = 4nevA .
8
Question 2
This question also proved to be quite challenging. Candidates usually gained marks
for stating the formulae in (a) but did not know that the electric field was equal to the
(negative) potential gradient.
The principle in (b) should not have been difficult: induced charges on the sphere
cause it to be attracted to the nearer plate and then repelled when it becomes
positively charged. But few candidates were able to score marks here. The calculations
in Part (iii) were generally satisfactory though some candidates did not substitute in
the equation values with the correct base units.
Question 3
Faradays Law and Lenzs Law were quite well known but the explanations of the
connection of the latter with conservation of energy were poor. Only the better candidates were able to score the marks for the calculations of flux and induced e.m.f.
in (c).
Module 2
Question 4
A large proportion of the candidate population could score no marks on this op. amp.
question and there were few really good responses.
For those candidates familiar with the topic the greatest weakness was the inability to
relate the small input voltage required for saturation (" 60 :V ) to the amplitude of
the signal (0.2 V) and deduce that the op. amp. output would always be saturated at
" 12 V .
Question 5
The performance on this question was quite commendable with a sizeable number of
candidates being able to score 80 per cent or more.
Surprisingly, the IV characteristic (a) (i) was the place where marks were most often
lost. Teachers might wish to pay particular attention to this graph and include it in
their laboratory programme. The silicon diode will be found to turn on when the
forward voltage is about 0.6 V and if the same scales are used on the negative axes as
those on the positive axes, there will be no detectable current in reverse bias.
Question 6
Candidates seemed to be much more comfortable with digital electronics than they
are with the analogue version (cf. Q.4) perhaps because it is first introduced at the
CSEC level.
Generally the performance was satisfactory except for (b)(ii) where, even though
they might have drawn up the correct truth table for the circuit, many candidates
9
were unable to draw the relevant timing diagrams.
Module 3
Question 7
Xrays are produced by two processes: when the electrons are rapidly slowed down
by the target their energy is converted to high frequency electromagnetic radiation
with the highest frequency (or shortest wavelength) being produced when they are
completely stopped. Also electrons in the target metal atoms gain energy and move
to a higher energy level before dropping back down to their original state and
producing radiation with a frequency characteristic of the particular metal. The
responses to this question showed that the average candidate had grasped neither of
these concepts.
Question 8
There was a wide spread of marks for this radioactivity question. Generally the
theory was quite well known but some candidates made careless mathematical errors.
Teachers might wish to note that some candidates solved (b) (iii) more quickly by
working out that the given time is 1.56 halflives ( = p) and then using A/A o = 1/2p.
Question 9
The labelling of the GeigerMuller tube was done very poorly and few candidates
could explain how the tube worked. And not many candidates knew that alpha
particles ionise the air they pass through, losing energy in each collision, and therefore can only travel a few centimetres in air. For these reasons the mean score of 3.0
was much lower than expected.
UNIT 2
PAPER 02
Question 1
Some candidates chose inappropriate scales for their graphs, or plotted them
carelessly but, in general, candidates graph work was up to the required standard.
Most candidates understood how to use the graph to find the permeability from the
given formula and completed the calculation successfully.
Question 2
Candidates were able to interpret data from the graph and score marks in Part (c) and
most understood the concepts of gain and bandwidth. However, the use of the
oscilloscope to measure the gain of an amplifier seemed to be unfamiliar to many
10
candidates and accounted for the modest performance overall on this question.
Question 3
The standard technique at this level for dealing with data which have an exponential
relationship is to plot a linear graph using natural logs. The examiners were
disappointed to find that many candidates were unable to do this. Some of those who
could, made careless errors in the calculation of the halflife from the gradient of the
graph.
Module 1
Question 4
The successful use of Kirchhoffs rules to analyse d.c. networks requires that
theequations be constructed very carefully, paying particular attention to the signs of
the quantities. Most candidates were unable to do this, which resulted in a disappointing mean score of 6.2 marks out of 20.
Question 5
This question on the Hall effect was much less popular than Question 4. Once the
idea of an electric force being set up to cancel the magnet force on the charge carriers
was understood candidates were able to score reasonable marks on the various parts
of this question and the mean score was 9.0 out of 20.
As pointed out elsewhere candidates seemed to have difficulty with dealing with the
prefixes of units and, therefore, lost marks by having incorrect powers of ten in their
answers.
Module 2
Question 6
Although the average candidate could draw a reasonable diagram of the transformer,
his/her written explanation for the choice of materials was often incomplete. The
choice of pure iron so that energy losses due to hysteresis would be reduced was not
well understood: being easy to magnetise was considered inadequate at this level.
The responses to Part (b) were generally satisfactory but Part (c) proved to be
difficult for most candidates who took the supply p.d. to be the same as the voltage
drop across the cables and ended up with enormous energy losses.
Question 7
The attempts at this digital electronics question were disappointing. The operation of
the bistable flipflop as an electronic latch in Parts (a) and (b) was not familiar to
many candidates.
11
In Part (c) the halfadder and full adder were better understood and candidates gained
more credit in this section. However it was disappointing to see a number of
candidates using a circuit to add 1 + 0 + 1 and getting the answer to be 1 or 3.
Module 3
Question 8
This question tested candidates knowledge of the photoelectric effect and the use of
Einsteins equation.
Most candidates were able to gain marks in Parts (a) and (b) since they demonstrated
good overall knowledge of the photoelectric effect. It disappointed the examiners,
therefore, that the marks for Part (c) were so low  here an organised systematic
approach to problem solving was needed which most candidates did not demonstrate.
Candidates had great difficulty with dealing with the fact that only 5 per cent of the
incident photons would be absorbed and did not manage to deduce the number of
electrons emitted per second from the available intensity and the energy of each
photon.
Some candidates were more successful in (c) (iii) and (iv) but many candidates were
stumped because they did not know that the work function could be calculated from
the given threshold frequency.
Question 9
The responses to Part (a), testing candidates knowledge of nuclear fission and
fusion, were not of the standard expected at this level. The use of the binding energy
curve to explain why fission and fusion are energetically favourable is standard in the
texts so it was thought that the connection between stability and binding energy
would be well known.
The calculation of the energy released in a given fission reaction was performed
successfully by many candidates but they stumbled in their use of reasoning to reach
a final value for the energy per kilogram. The mean score of 6.0 out of 20 was thus
quite disappointing.
12
INTERNAL ASSESSMENT
The examiners were again disappointed by the depth and breadth of the practical
work submitted for review. Some centres could only manage to perform six
experiments in a whole year. This is clearly inadequate since skills have to be developed and practised before the teacher makes an evaluation of the candidates progress.
Often the laboratory exercises did not reflect the content of the CAPE syllabus but
were simple experiments which could have been performed at CSEC level, for
example testing materials to see whether they conduct electricity using a battery,
lamp and connecting wires.
It is important for candidates to see their laboratory work as an integral part of their
learning experience, closely linked to the work they are doing in the theory classes,
and they would, therefore, expect the work submitted for moderation to be spread
evenly across the three modules in each Unit.
There was also some concern, particularly in Unit 1, about the small number of
exercises involving graphs. At this level the use of graphical techniques to analyse
data is very important and it appears that candidates need much more practice to improve these skills.
1
CARIBBEAN EXAMINATIONS COUNCIL
PHYSICS
2
PHYSICS
CARIBBEAN ADVANCED PROFICIENCY EXAMINATION
MAY/JUNE 2007
GENERAL COMMENTS
Unit 1
A slight increase in the candidate population returned scores similar to that in previous years. The new
Paper 01 (Multiple Choice) performed well. There were four items out of 45 in which less than 30 percent
of candidates gave the correct response.
The performance on Paper 02 was good except for a question on error calculation and one on refraction
where the scores were very low (see detailed comments).
Unit 2
There was a large increase in the number of candidates sitting Unit 2 and the performance overall was much
better than previous years.
Both Units
One weak area which stood out for the examiners, however, was in the analysis of results of experiments. It
appears that candidates neither see nor do experiments in magnetism and analogue electronics and are faced
with quite unfamiliar observations in the examination room to interpret questions set on these topics. The
time honoured practice of candidates doing or rotation of labs where apparatus is more expensive has
much to commend it at this level.
DETAILED COMMENTS
UNIT 1
PAPER 01
Module 1
Performance on most questions was generally satisfactory. The three lowest scoring items with only about
30 percent of the candidates giving the correct response were:
Determining the relationship between velocity and mass for an object moved a fixed distance by
a constant force v 2 =
2F
x
m
So V
Understanding that an object falling at constant velocity has zero resultant force.
3
Module 2
There were good responses to questions on the general principles of wavemotion but two glaring weaknesses
were noted: candidates did not understand twosource interference and they were unable to apply the lens
formula to the formation of an image by a diverging lens.
Module 3
Plotting a graph for the variation of an empiral temperature with thermometric property X was beyond
most candidates. The use of Stefans Law also proved problematic. Otherwise the items in this section
were not found to be difficult with one disappointing exception; when candidates were asked to find the
volume of one atom of copper from given molar data, the majority of candidates instead found the volume
of a mole of copper.
Unit 1
Paper 02
Section A
Question 1
The poor performance on this question (mean 2.6 out of 10) makes it obvious that candidates did not have
enough practice in calculating the uncertainty in physical quantities by combining the estimated errors in
measurements.
3
Even when candidates deduced that L was 19.2 0.4 cm in part (a), often they could not say that the
diameter D (= L/10) was 19.2 0.4 cm. It was not surprising thereafter that combining the results to find
the uncertainty in the density of the metal (part (c)) proved to be beyond most candidates.
The examiners would like to suggest that teachers of this difficult area of the syllabus, try using the method
of adding the percentage errors in the quantities rather than the traditional method of writing an equation
relating the fractional errors. Perhaps this would prove to be less confusing for the students.
For example:
Question 2
For most candidates this data analysis question should have been quite straight forward even if the actual
experiment on cavity resonance was unfamiliar. However, two main difficulties arose:
Candidates made plotting and reading off values hard for themselves by choosing odd scales for the
graph (for example, 1:3, 1:7, etc.)
Candidates had difficulty relating the gradient of the graph to the quantities in the given equation
and so could not determine the velocity of sound (mean 5.8 out of 10).
4
Question 3
Again in this question about the determination of Young modulus. Candidates often stumbled over the
connection between the gradient of a graph and the constants in the equation. The technique of using a
linear graph to find a good average value of a physical quantity is commonly used in physics and practice is
needed in this area.
The fact that candidates were not able, for the most part, to measure the area under the graph (part (b))
compounded their difficulties and so the mean for this question was a low 4.7 out of 10.
Section B
Module 1
Question 4
There was evidence that most candidates knew the principles involved in this question about vectors and
static equilibrium but their scores were limited by their poor problem solving ability (mean 9.5 out of 20).
The examiners expected, at this level, that the vector addition in part (a) would be done by means of
resolution and then addition of the components. However, attempts using scale drawings or triangles of
forces were also accepted. In the latter case, candidates trigonometry was poor and the few using this
method gained much credit.
The scale drawings offered were usually much too small and even in those which were not the angles, were
measured carelessly. The final values for the resultant were thus not very accurate.
Some of the better candidates drew up a table showing the relevant components and their direction (see
below). This method has much to commend it in terms of clarity and avoidance of errors.
force
x component
y component
35 N
14.8
31.7
24 N
20.8
12
20 N
14.1
14.1
+11.5
+5.6
Disappointingly a significant number of candidates, after getting the correct components, were unable to
show the correct direction for the resultant. They thoughtlessly drew the remaining side of the triangle as in
the diagram on the next page.
R = 22.2N
14.6
Most attempts at the standard statics problem in part (b) (ii) were poor even though the free body diagram
was given in the question. Candidates did not seem to realize that they needed to apply the same principles
they had expounded in part (i).
(a) The upward force R must be equal to the weight of 200 N
(b) The clockwise moment of P about the base of the plank would be equal to the
anticlockwise moment of the weight (P x 6 = 200 x 1.5 and so P = 50 N)
(c) The horizontal forces are equal and opposite so F = P. Combining F and R yields a
resultant of 206 N, 76 to the ground.
Question 5
The mean score for this question was similar to that for the alternative Question 4. Candidates demonstrated
for the most part a good grasp of the concepts tested in parts (b) and (c) and scored well. It was disappointing,
however, to see the number of answers in part (b) (iii) with the input power of the motor being less than its
output. Surely candidates should have realised that they had the formula inverted and corrected their mistake.
In contrast the responses to part (a) (ii) were poor! Expecting candidates to know that g would not be
constant over a large distance, the examiners were surprised to find instead that either gravity had been
switched off (g = 0) or had been used up in providing the centripetal force.
In part (a) (iii), very few candidates were able to translate the principle that the change of kinetic energy was
equal to the change of potential energy into a meaningful equation. Instead they ignored the initial kinetic
energy of the roller coaster and wrote mv2 = mgh. The marks awarded in this part were consequently very
low (mean 9.5 out of 20).
Module 2
Question 6
Part (a) tested candidates knowledge of standing waves and the properties of sound. The answers were of
varying quality. Some candidates had not understood that stationary waves are formed from two waves of
the same type and frequency travelling in opposite directions. Perhaps if they had the opportunity to
experiment with waves on strings, microwaves and sound waves in the laboratory, they might have had a
better grasp of the concept. The words subjective and objective gave some candidates difficulty in
part (a) (iii). The examiners were expecting candidates to associate, for example, loudness (subjective)
with amplitude (objective) or pitch (subjective) with frequency (objective) etc.
6
Part (b) concerned intensity and intensity levels in decibels. Whilst parts (b) (i) and (ii) were answered
successfully by most candidates, part (b) (iii) proved to be difficult since it required a two stage calculation
the pain threshold, 120 dB, corresponds to an intensity of 1.0 W m 2 and then the use of the given
proportionality gives a distance of two metres from the speaker. Although the question clearly stated otherwise
many candidates floundered because they assumed that they could use the intensity level in the proportional
relationship (mean 7.3 out of 20).
Question 7
The mean score on this question was a disappointing 4.3 out of 20. This was quite a shock to the examiners
since some of the content was at CSEC level and much of the remainder was merely an extension of that
work. In fact the only section in which the responses were satisfactory was part (c) which contained material
introduced at CAPE.
In part (a) many candidates could not define the refractive index for light waves as the ratio of the speed in
the medium to the speed in a vacuum (or air), nor could they draw a diagram of wave refraction so deriving
the law of refraction in part (iii) proved to be beyond them.
The use of the given law of refraction in part (b) was very poor. In fact, many candidates tripped themselves
up by resorting to the (misunderstood) use of the outmoded idea of relative refractive index. The examiners
would like to recommend that, to avoid such errors, teachers always use the law of refraction in the form
given in this question: n1 sin 1 = n2 sin 2.
Module 3
Question 8
Only a small proportion of candidates attempted this question rather than Question 9. Those with good
mathematical skills were able to handle the exponential formula in part (b) well and score heavily on this
part. However, the responses to part (a) about the use of thermometers were relatively poor (mean 3.6 out
of 20).
Question 9
There was a wide spread of mediocre marks on this question (mean 7.8 out of 20).
Poor expression was the downfall of many candidates in part (a) (i). Though they knew that pressure is
force/area they had difficulty relating that to collisions with walls, change of momentum, etc. as required
for the kinetic theory of gases.
The application of pV = nRT in part (a) (ii) proved to be challenging. It seemed that some candidates had
learned the gas law at a lower level without the inclusion of the amount of gas, (p1V1/T1 = p2V2/T2) and were
unable to cope with the situation where more oxygen was pumped into the cylinder. Since unlearning is
often difficult, teachers might be able to prevail upon those teaching at a lower level to include the n factor
from the start and discuss such obvious examples as pumping up car tyres and filling cylinders .
Part (b) was about the first law of thermodynamics elicited many good responses though the usual confusion
about the signs for energy added (work done ON the gas) and energy lost (work done BY the gas) frequently
occurred.
7
UNIT 2
PAPER 01
The mean score on this paper was a commendable 64 percent and there were strong responses (with more
than 80 percent of candidates correct) in various areas such as electric circuits, capacitors, digital electronics,
photoelectric effect and Xrays.
The items causing the examiners concern are listed below. Perhaps teachers will be able to spend a little
time straightening out these common misunderstanding with future classes.
1. A variable resistor in PARALLEL to a component will not be able to change the current through it.
2. Doubling the diameter of a wire will cause the resistance to change to a quarter of the original value
if other factors are constant.
3. The r.m.s. value of an alternating current is the same as the value for the direct current which causes
the same power to be dissipated.
4.
A noninverting amplifier may be easily recognised by the fact that the input goes to the positive
terminal of the operational amplifier and its gain is found by adding one to the resistance ratio
(A =
R2
+ 1).
R1
PAPER 02
Section A
Question 1
In this question candidates were provided with data to plot a graph showing the variation of the magnetic
field along the axis of a solenoid. Generally the plots were good but the examiners were surprised at the
substantial minority who used dottodot rather than drawing a straight line followed by a smooth curve
to show the weakening field near the end of the coil.
Part (c) was not done well. Only the better candidates recognized that the formula could only apply to the
uniform field near the centre and that the field at the end was half that at the centre.
Disappointingly few candidates were able to gain the two marks in part (d) for using the formula to find the
TOTAL (in capitals) number of turns in the coil (mean 4.9 out of 10).
Question 2
This question tested the use of the operational amplifier as a comparator. The principle that the op amplifier
output would saturate at positive 6V or negative 6V depending on which input had the higher potential was
not understood by most candidates. This led to low scores in part (b) and a mean score overall of 4.7 out of
10.
Although most candidates gained the available marks for plotting the thermistor calibration curve teachers
might wish to note the following:
Students need to be exposed to a variety of graphs in their practical work, not only linear graphs.
They also need practice in choosing suitable scales so that the graphs are large enough without
resorting to, for example, factors of three which lead to readoff difficulties.
Question 3
The response to this question were much more satisfying many candidates scoring eight or more out of ten
(Mean score 6.2 out of 10). For those scoring less, the main weakness was that they did not realise that they
could read In Io from the axis even though the scale on that axis did not start at zero: since the xscale
(absorber thickness) did begin at zero the intercept was in fact In Io. Candidates who instead tried to
calculate the value found the mathematics difficult and often failed to obtain the correct value.
Section B
Module 1
Question 4
A significant number of candidates had such inadequate understanding of electric circuits that they chose
this question but could not score any marks. The mean score of 4.3 out of 20 does not therefore reflect the
fact that others performed much better.
In part (a) candidates were not entirely clear on the difference between e.m.f and terminal p.d. even though
they were able to define the terms. Teachers need to reinforce the idea that there is a loss of energy due to
the internal resistance of the battery and so the energy delivered to the terminals will be less.
The majority of candidates were unfamiliar with the procedures in determining the e.m.f of a battery using
a potentiometer: many could not even draw the circuit correctly.
In calculating the internal resistance of the cell in part (iv) many candidates tripped themselves up by using
the e.m.f rather than the p.d. to calculate the circuit current. For many candidates at this level any voltage
can be used in V=IR to find the current and teachers will need, over and over again, until they get out of the
habit, to emphasise to students that they must have the correct voltage across the component before calculating.
(It might be noted that a similar error occurs in part (b) of Question 6)
In part (b) many candidates were unable to derive the correct set of equations using Kirchhoffs first and
second laws. Most commonly they failed to adhere to the sign conventions with regard to traversing the
loops in the circuit. Even those with the correct equations were not always successful in arriving at the
correct values since they were let down by their inability to solve simultaneous equations.
Question 5
The performance on this popular item was much better than that on Question 4: several candidates scored
full marks and the mean of 10.3 out of 20 was better than any other question on the paper.
Marks were lost in part (a) because candidates could not define the farad and often did not understand what
dimensions meant with reference to a capacitor (capacitance depends on the area of the plates and the
distance between them).
9
Though part (c) was generally well done, there were many candidates who, despite their correct use of the
same concepts in the derivations required for part (b), thought that each of the series capacitors had a p.d. of
6 V across them and proceeded to calculate different values for their changes. Other careless mistakes such
as not inverting (1/C = therefore making the capacitance microfarad), forgetting to square V in E =
CV2 and leaving out the 106 factor contributed to unnecessary loss of credit.
Module 2
Question 6
With a mean of 5.1 out of 20, the performance on this question was not very satisfactory. Many candidates
had learned about the operation of a pn junction and scored marks on part (a), but the applications of the
junction diode in parts (b) and (c) were not well understood.
Part (b) required candidates to see that and L.E.D would turn ON when a p.d. exists across it, that is, when
one end has a positive potential and the other is grounded. Many did not grasp this point. Those that did,
failed to understand that they needed to calculate the p.d. across the resistor (V = 15 2 = 13 V) before they
could use V = IR to find the protective resistance used.
The responses to part (c) were even poorer with few candidates realising that the p.d. across the diode must
be 0.7 V (as shown in the given characteristic) while it is conducting. Thus the peak value of the resistors
p.d. would be 0.8 V and its peak current 0.8 mA.
Since candidates generally ignored the turn on voltage of the diode the sketch graphs in part (c) (iii) were
very poor with most candidates only gaining a mark or two for showing the general principle of rectification.
Question 7
Some candidates had obviously studied this section of digital electronics quite thoroughly and there were
some excellent scores from the better candidates. However, the mean score was disappointing (6.1 out of
20) as other candidates were unable to apply their knowledge to unfamiliar situations.
In part (a), only part (ii) of this section proved to be problematic. Many candidates seemed to be unfamiliar
with the use of one type of logic gate (NOR in this case) to construct the others.
In part (b), though the diagrams of flipflops were good, the explanations of their operation as a latch were
not. Similarly the deductions of the action of the triggered bistables connected as a counter (part (ii) seemed
to be wild guesses rather than the use of the given principle).
The use of the operational amplifier as a summing amplifier seemed to be familiar to most candidates but
many made careless errors such as missing out the input voltages of 5 V (or using one volt instead) after
writing the correct formula for the circuit.
65
Module 3
Question 8
The distribution of scores on this question was unusual: either candidates performed well and scored more
than 15 or their responses were poor less than four out of 20. Perhaps this reflected the fact that some were
able to handle the mathematics of radioactive decay comfortably whilst others struggled to get started.
10
The fact that radioactive decay, is a random process, is emphasised in the teaching at the level so it is to be
expected that candidates would be able to cite the evidence for this. Surprisingly even the better candidates
had little idea of how to gather such evidence or how to draw conclusions from it. Descriptions of such
demonstrations are included in most texts at this level and teachers, if they are unable to do the experiment
in their laboratory, should at least draw these to the attention of their students.
The examiners would like to suggest that in problems such as those in part (b), the use of the halflife
formula A/Ao = 1/2n rather than the exponential, often makes the solution simpler (mean 8.4 out of 20):For example in part (b) (iii)
Question 9
This question was less popular than Question 8. Some candidates seemed to be attempting it in desperation
since they knew little in Module 3. How else can so many scores of zero or one be explained in a relatively
straight forward photoelectric effect question? To balance this, the examiners were pleased to see that
several candidates were able to score full marks (mean 6.7 out of 20).
The main loss of marks for those who made a reasonable attempt were:
inability to find the number of photons per second from the calculated energy per second
poor descriptions of how the kinetic energy may be obtained from the stopping potential
careless calculations even though using the correct photoelectric equation, powers of ten being a
particular difficulty
not understanding that the wavelength must be shorter than the wavelength corresponding to the
threshold frequency if electrons are to be released.
CARI BB E AN
E XA MINA TIONS
C OUN CIL
PHYSICS
(TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO)
PHYSICS
TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO
CARIBBEAN ADVANCED PROFICIENCY EXAMINATION
MAY/JUNE 2008
GENERAL COMMENTS
The performance of the candidates in the 2008 examination was similar to that of the 2007.
The mean score on the multiple choice paper remains significantly higher than that of the
written papers. The examiner sees the need for candidates to gain more experience in
problem solving and in analysis and interpretation of graphical data.
UNIT 1
PAPER 01
MULTIPLE CHOICE
Module 1
The mean score for the 15 questions on this mechanics module was 52 per cent with candidates
scoring best on items about units, momentum, projectile motion and satellite motion.
An item requiring knowledge of the balanced forces on an object falling at terminal velocity proved to
be the most challenging and tripped up more than 80 per cent of the candidates: there still seems to be
a preNewtonian belief persisting that motion requires a resultant force. Another item about wind
blowing on a door was also poorly done since few candidates realised that the resultant force would
act at the centre of mass.
Teaching of Newtons 2nd law in the form FRES = ma might help students to remember to the resultant
force before applying the law. In the case of an item on vertical circular motion it might have
prevented candidates from making the error of calculating the tension in the string by equating it to
mr2.
Module 2
The performance on this Waves module was much better than that on the mechanics (mean 62 per
cent correct) with candidates doing particularly well on items involving the energy of a pendulum,
pitch and loudness, comparison of properties of light and sound waves and graphs for stationary
waves.
The weak areas were:
The calculation of the focal length of a lens to correct long sight proved to be too difficult for
most candidates.
Candidates did not know that the colours observed in a thin film are due to interference rather
than refraction.
The calculation of the frequency of standing wave on a stretched string involved two steps finding the wavelength and using v = f. Less than 40 per cent of candidates were able to do
this.
Module 3
Candidates, on average, responded correctly to 57 per cent of these items. The poorest responses came
for a Boyles law item about a rising bubble  the majority of candidates ignored the atmospheric
pressure in their calculations.
There were however many areas where candidates seem to have been well prepared including
thermometers, temperature scales, cooling curves, conduction in metals and Youngs modulus.
UNIT 1
PAPER 02
Question 1
Generally the graph of the motion of an object falling under gravity (Part (a)) was well done. But
many candidates lost marks unnecessarily e.g. by using the table to calculate the gradient instead of
identifying a large gradient triangle on the graph paper or by assuming the gradient was equal to g
rather than g .
Surprisingly at this level not many candidates could correctly draw all three sketch graphs for the
variation with time of acceleration, velocity and displacement (Part (b)) and there were even
candidates who were quite unaware that one of the equations for motion with uniform acceleration
was required in Part (c).
Question 2
The attempts at drawing diagrams to explain double slit interference in Part (a) were acceptable.
Candidates however often lost marks for labelling the superposition of two troughs with an X
indicating destructive interference. Some candidates also confused diffraction with refraction and
talked about the bending of the waves rather than the spreading as they went through a small
aperture.
Part (b) proved to be more challenging: candidates were expected to use interference formula a sin
=n to find the position of the first maximum (n = 1) and second minimum (n = 3/2) of an
interference pattern but very few of them gained full marks. Some could not even get as far as
calculating the wavelength of the radio waves correctly because they thought the velocity was 340
m/s.
Question 3
Sometimes candidates learn a formula without having any understanding of its meaning. A glaring
example occurred in Part (b) where a significant number of candidates wrote T = 2L/g to calculate
the tension T. In fact the answers to this part of the question were poor even by those who did not
make this faux pas: many candidates ignored the centripetal motion and stated that the tension was
equal to mg. They were however able to gain marks in the other sections since the examiners, as
usual, applied the principle of error carried forward.
To compensate the responses in Part (a) were good though there were some candidates unfamiliar
with the graph for the stretching of rubber.
Question 4
Questions on errors and uncertainty in past examinations were very poorly done so the examiners
were pleased to see the number of good attempts this time around: there were a large number of
candidates able to score 10 or more marks out of 15.
Most candidates were able to distinguish between precision and accuracy in measurements but the
examples they gave could have been better and reflected a practical rather than theoretical approach.
Probably the easiest way to estimate the uncertainty in the specific latent heat in (c) is to add together
the percentage errors in the three measurements. Candidates who did this (and did not make a careless
error in dealing with the 103 kg) usually gained full marks. The traditional method of writing an
equation relating fractional errors was utilised by some but required more care and often gave rise to
mistakes in the calculations.
Candidates were not penalised for using the method of finding the maximum possible L value and the
minimum value if they did it successfully. Unfortunately however most of them thought that
combining the maximum values of the three quantities would give the maximum L which is not true.
Question 5
In Part (a) the wave diagrams showing refraction of water waves in a ripple tank were very poor in the
majority of cases and the marks for this section were low.
In Part (b) though most candidates were able to read of values to find the frequency change in (i)
some thought they could take a short cut and find the difference in wavelengths and use this for
calculating the difference in frequencies.
In Part (ii) required candidates to be able to manipulate an equation to plot a straight line. Obviously
this skill needs much more attention since few candidates were able to plot the correct graph and find
the value of k from the gradient.
Question 6
Part (a) tested candidates understanding of the equation for thermal conduction. Some candidates
found difficulty from the start since they did not relate P the rate of conduction to Q/t in their version
of the formula.
Marks were lost in (ii) by candidates who only read approximate values from the graph and in (iii) by
those who wrongly assumed that the gradient of the graph was equal to the thermal conductivity. The
number of sketch graphs submitted for (iv) which were linear surprised the examiners surely the
similarity to Boyles law which they had studied since CSEC level would have precluded this error.
In Part (b) the last part of the question required the use of Stefans law but few candidates realised this
and those few were often unable to handle the calculations so the scores were quite low.
UNIT 2
PAPER 1
(MULTIPLE CHOICE)
Module 1
Manipulation of the formula for resistivity and calculation of the current in a series/parallel
combination of resistors caused some problems but otherwise the items in this module were well
answered. The examiners were particularly pleased with improved performance on questions on the
topics of electrostatics and magnetism.
Module 2
Two items about r.m.s. values for a.c. quantities and one on the op. amp. comparator received the
poorest responses in the A.C. Theory and Electronics module (less than 30 per cent of candidates
answering them correctly).
This year the overall performance on the electronics questions was better than in previous years
particularly on those about digital electronics.
Module 3
Most candidates scored best on this module. They demonstrated a good grasp of concepts in
radioactivity and atomic structure. However there were two very weak areas: use and understanding
of the photoelectric equation and the calculation of binding energy per nucleon.
UNIT 2
PAPER 02
Question 1
Though there were many good answers to this question teachers need to be aware of some common
weaknesses running through the marked scripts
In Part (b)(ii) inability to convert cm2 to m2.
Failure to recognise that the maximum value of a sine or cosine is 1
Omission of the number of turns in the e.m.f. calculation
In Part (iii) doubling the frequency doubles the peak e.m.f.
In Part (iv) to investigate changing the area of the coil the other factors must be kept constant.
Question 2
In Part (a) perhaps because of lack of exposure to practical work few candidates knew that a potential
divider would be needed to vary the input potential of the operational amplifier and those that did
could not connect it correctly.
Some errors occurred in the plotting of the amplifier characteristic that would not be expected at this
level: plotting of rounded off values rather than the ones given; freehand drawing of straight lines; use
of two table values rather than the best fitting line for the gradient.
It was also noted that many candidates did not use their graphs to find the maximum input voltages
but tried to use the table instead.
Question 3
This question elicited a wide range of responses with a pleasing number of candidates able to score 14
or 15 marks. The areas which posed difficulties for some were:
writing (and plotting) 1/ with only one or two significant figures
converting nm to metres incorrectly.
inability to manipulate the photoelectric equation to obtain the equation of the graph
determining Plancks constant from the gradient.
Question 4
In Part (a) the experiment descriptions were often poor with some not even mentioning how the
temperature could be measured. The circuit diagrams submitted were good for the most part though
some had ammeters in parallel and voltmeters in series. Some candidates attempted, without success,
to use Wheatstone bridge circuits.
Although candidates confused the potential at Q with the p.d. across the 5 k resistor they were still
generally to determine the balance temperature for the thermistor. But some candidates assumed the
potential at p was 0 V and said the temperature was 100 0C.
In Part (b) this simplified Kirchhoffs laws problem was generally very well done.
Question 5
Many candidates could only gain marks for the truth tables of the NOR and NAND gates in (a). It
seems that in some schools the other parts of the new syllabus such as the replacement of a NAND
gate with 4 NOR gates had not been studied.
Part (b) tested candidates knowledge of adders and halfadders. This is not an easy topic especially if
suitable apparatus for constructing the circuits is not available in the school. Responses such as The
halfadder is used to add 2bit binary numbers while the fulladder is used to add 3bit binary
numbers showed that teachers need to go back to basics when teaching this topic: starting with
adding numbers together on paper and understanding the concept of carrying to the next column. In
the last part of the question some candidates merely used two half adders to make a full adder failing
to recognise that an OR gate was needed too. Surprisingly many of them went on to describe an
application rather than giving an example to explain its operation.
Question 6
There were more low scores on this question than on any other in the paper. It appeared that
candidates were not prepared for this part of the syllabus.
Millikan, as part of his methodology, determined the mass of an oil drop accurately: he then tried to
preserve this oil drop and measure several times the charge it could acquire. To change the charge he
used Xrays (particles could also have been used). Candidates confused this changing of the charge
on a particular oil drop with the initial charging of oil drops as they emerged from an atomizer.
Thoughtless errors such as using g rather than mg for weight , poor manipulation of powers of ten and
poor recall of Newtons 2nd law caused the scores in Parts (b) and (c) to be low even for those who
had studied this topic.
PHYSICS
(REGION EXCLUDING TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO)
2
PHYSICS
CARIBBEAN ADVANCED PROFICIENCY EXAMINATION
MAY/JUNE 2008
GENERAL COMMENTS
The performance of candidates in the 2008 examination was similar to that of 2007 with the mean
score of the Multiple Choice papers significantly higher than that on the written papers.
The examiners see the need for candidates to gain more experience in problem solving and in analysis
and interpretation of graph data. In the latter case, they would like to emphasise the syllabus call for
four or five practical exercises to be performed in each module, including some experiments which
test hypotheses.
DETAILED COMMENTS
PAPER 01
Multiple Choice
There were several items in which candidates showed poor reasoning skills and could not select the
best response.
Module 1
1.
Less than 30 per cent of candidates knew that if xy = constant and graph of y against x would
be a curve. Most thought it would be a straight line through the origin.
2.
Few candidates could work out how gravitational field strength g would vary with height
above the Earths surface.
3.
There were instances when candidates were tempted into choosing options for which
quantities which they should know are constant changes, for example, the acceleration due to
gravity at the Earths surface, or the work done on various masses when a constant force
moves through the same distance.
Module 2
T 2
4.
m
k : it does not depend on the
value of g. But more than 80 per cent of candidates thought it did.
5.
When students learn a formula it is essential that they also understand all of the terms. In the
interference equation
x
, X is the fringe spacing, that is, the distance between two
D
adjacent fringes and should not be confused with the total width of the pattern.
6.
The relationship between the number of lines per metre and the spacing of the lines in a
diffraction grating was poorly understood by a majority of candidates.
3
Module 3
7.
Candidates ought to realise that in a composite thermal conductor the largest temperature
difference occurs across the portions with the lowest conductivity. In this exam most of them
opted for the opposite conclusion.
8.
Confusion between the molar value and molecular value of the kinetic energy of a gas caused
about half of the candidates to choose the wrong response for any item on this topic.
9.
Question 1
The graph in this terminal velocity question was drawn competently by the majority of candidates but
the explanation of its shape which followed was often poor, many candidates gave a description rather
than an explanation. A good answer would have mentioned that the acceleration was decreasing as
the resistance to motion increased as the sphere moved faster.
Many candidates were able to successfully calculate the mean acceleration by using the graph to find
the change of velocity and dividing by the time interval. Those who tried to estimate the gradient
were less successful.
In Part (b) the inability to manipulate the formula was the downfall of a significant percentage of
candidates. (Mean score 8.2/15)
Question 2
Some of the responses to Part (a) were rather vague and did not contain much physics. The examiners
were expecting candidates to know that a standing wave is set up on a guitar string and that this
vibration then causes a longitudinal sound wave to be transmitted through the air to the air.
The first two sections of Part (b) were fairly well understood but in Part (b) (iii) candidates struggled,
with many candidates not knowing how to set out a (mathematical) derivation.
Having been given the relevant formula candidates were expected in Part (c) to find the velocity of the
wave from the gradient (= v/2L) of a graph but most candidates, though able to plot the graph were,
disappointingly, unable to make any further headway. (Mean score 7.1/15)
Question 3
The mean score on this thermometer question was significantly lower that the other questions in
Section A, only a minority of candidates seemed to have understood the principle of the use of a
constantvolume thermometer. Indeed, very few candidates even knew how to achieve a constant
volume of gas by adjusting the height of the mercury. Instead they talked about avoiding leaks in the
glass bulb or the rubber tube.
The attempts at calculating the pressure of the gas Part (c) were also very disappointing, the minority
of candidates who used p = pgh either forgot to add on the atmospheric pressure or simply added 76
to the answer in pascals! (Mean score 4.6/15)
4
Section B
For all of the questions in Section B, candidates responses were generally poor, seeming to indicate a
lack of preparation for this type of freeresponse question. Each question required first demonstration
of knowledge of a key topic in the respective module but candidates writing and explanations were
so poor that they gained few marks. The application of basic principles to the solution of numerical
problems was not much better and the scores in the second part of these questions were also low.
Perhaps candidates need to be reminded that they must practise doing these longer questions during
their revision rather than merely reading their notes or text books and hoping it will all work out in the
exam.
Question 4
In Part (a), candidates were expected to show an understanding of the vector nature of the quantities
involved in circular motion, the velocity changes directions and so are not constant and no work is
done by the centripetal force since there is no displacement in the direction of the force. Many
candidates gained marks only for the formula in Part (a) (ii).
Some candidates confused the conical pendulum in Part (b) with the simple pendulum and wrote
T 2 L/g and then proceeded to interpret T as the tension in the string! Others did not recognise
that there were only two forces acting, the weight and the tension and found difficulty proceeding.
There were only a few better candidates who were able to resolve the forces successfully and
calculate the tension in the string and the speed of the mass.
Most candidates recognised that if the string breaks the mass will fall to the ground as a projectile.
However, only a minority were able to see that the initial vertical velocity would be zero and that the
time of fall could be calculated from s 1 2 at 2 . (Mean score 2.3/15)
Question 5
The principle of the diffraction grating is that each fine slit, by diffraction, becomes the source of light
waves which then interfere with waves from the other slits to produce spectra. Though there were
some good responses to Part (a), often candidates discussion of this principle was sketchy and many
candidates did not produce the required wave diagrams to show their understanding of diffraction and
interference.
The calculations in Part (b) were generally poorly done. The most common error being the
substitution of the number of lines per metre for the value of a in the formula a sin n.
(Mean score 3.3/15)
Question 6
In spite of Rumfords historic experiments, the caloric theory still lives on the minds of this years
CAPE candidates. No matter how many times their teachers must have told them that heat is not a
thing but, like work, a description of a way of transferring energy, they are still unable to differentiate
between Q and U in the first law of thermodynamics. This difficulty in many cases permeated the
whole of their response to this question and caused the mean score to be very low.
In Part (b), candidates were generally unfamiliar with the fact that the work done in a cycle may be
found from the area enclosed on a pV diagram. The use of the gas law in (ii) was much better but
few candidates were able to use the molar heat capacities to find the energy added as heat and hence
the efficiency. (Mean score 3.1/15)
5
Unit 2
PAPER 01/Multiple Choice
The paper was well designed and did not pose too many problems for a candidate who was well
prepared for the exam.
Module 1
Question 1
In Module 1, only two of the fifteen questions had a high number of incorrect responses associated
with a particular key.
Question 14: 33 per cent of the candidates chose Key B instead of Key D, because they chose the ratio
as 1 : 8000 instead of 1800 : 1 even though it was clearly stated in the stem of the question what was
required.
Question 6: 45 per cent of the candidates chose Key B instead of Key C from a question based on the
unit of permittivity. They were unfamiliar with the physical quantity permittivity and could not
deduce C2 N1 m2 as the correct response; the majority chose N m2 C1
Module 2
Most of the questions in this module carried a diagram which the students had to interpret in order to
choose the correct key. Only one of the questions in this module had a large number of incorrect
responses. The use of a potential divider seems not to be clearly understood.
Questions involving logic gates were well done with many correct responses (constructing Truth
tables is always an easy task), while questions on the opamps obviously proved to be more
challenging and requires a lot more thought and application of knowledge.
Module 3
The most challenging questions in Module 3 were both on Millikans oil drop experiment. The
concept of a changed oil drop and quantization of charge is not clearly understood. Perhaps this
experiment is too difficult to visualize and few students have even done this experiment.
6
Unit 2
PAPER 02
Section A
Question 1
This question tested candidates understanding of the standard technique for dealing with exponential
data, that is, the use of linear natural log graph. Though few candidates used irregular scales or scales
made too small by the inclusion of the origin, the plotting was for the most part quite satisfactory.
However, the overall scores on this question were low due to poor interpretation of the significance of
the intercept and gradient of the graph.
In Part (d), candidates were expected to see that the voltage would fall from the 3 v provided by the
battery in the same exponential manner as the current. This proved to be surprisingly challenging.
(Mean score 5.7/15)
Question 2
This question was mainly about the implementation of logic circuits using NANS gates. Many
candidates seemed not to have studied this topic and could make little progress.
For some candidates the only marks gained would have been for the Truth table in Part (b) and
perhaps the drawing of the flipflop in Part (c). Even those who could draw the NAND bistable often
showed little understanding of its operation. (Mean score 5.7/15)
Question 3
The current in a photocell remains constant once the voltage is sufficient to attract all of the produced
electrons to the anode, further increases in the p.d. can have no effect on the current. This principle
was not familiar to most candidates but they scored well on the other parts of Part (a).
In Part (b), the graph plotting was fine but again the extraction of values from the graph was very
poorly done. (Mean score 6.4/15)
Question 4
Though Lenzs law was known by almost all the candidates, its application to the jumping ring
demonstration proved to be beyond all but a few. Even those candidates who did explain that an
induced current in the ring would cause a field which opposed the field in the iron core could not take
the argument further to say that a slot cut in the ring would prevent current flow and hence the ruing
would no linger jump.
Most candidates knew that flux was defined by the equation BA but they forgot to multiply by the
number of turns when calculating the total flux through the coil in Part (c). Although the examiners
applied error carried forward in the remainder of Part (c) the marks were still mediocre as
candidates failed to recognise the fact that the maximum value to the e.m.f. offered when the sine of
the angle was equal to 1. (Mean score 3.5/15)
7
Question 5
Imprecision caused candidates to lose credit in Part (a). Only the better candidates used Kirchoffs
law correctly at Point X in the op.amp. circuit and then stated that I1 = I2 since I3 would be zero if one
assumed the op.amp. had infinite input impedance. Many candidates carelessly wrote I1 = I2. Later in
their derivations they would fudge another incorrect sign to obtain the required answer.
Only a few candidates plotted the required suitable graph in Part (b) the examiners expected
candidates to be familiar with the standard techniques of data analysis at this stage in their physics
education but were sorely disappointed. Perhaps teachers need to provide more exercises in the
laboratory which involve plotting linear graphs to test hypotheses candidates should not be plotting
curves from raw data and then concluding, by inspection, that the relationship is true because R goes
up when A goes down. (Mean score 5.3/15)
Question 6
There were some good attempts at dealing with the concept of binding energy in Part (a) though the
last part proved difficult since candidates did not picture Helium4 as an alphaparticle which could be
emitted whole in a radioactive decay.
The radioactive decay equation for radon in Part (i) was understood by most candidates and the
attempts in Part (ii) to find the number of atoms present were creditable though tended to lose marks
through careless calculations. However, Part (iii) confused most candidates, they knew that power
was energy divided by time but the time they used was the halflife! Only the more thoughtful
noticed that every decay would release 6.3 MeV (= 1.06 x 1012 J) and so they merely had to multiply
by the number of decays per second. (Mean score 4.2/15)
MAY/JUNE 2009
PHYSICS
2
PHYSICS
CARIBBEAN ADVANCED PROFICIENCY EXAMINATION
MAY/JUNE 2009
GENERAL COMMENTS
The number of candidates for CAPE Physics in 2009 increased for Unit 1 from 2527 to 2970 and
decreased for Unit 2 from 1855 to 1783.
Some areas of poor performance were:
Module 1
Candidates found difficulty with:
Module 2
Candidates found difficulty with:
Question 20 which tested the representation and interpretation of transverse wave motion
on a graph.
Question 23 which tested the representation and interpretation of standing wave motion in
a graph.
Module 3
Candidates found difficulty with:
Question 36 which tested the movement of heat through an insulated composite metal rod.
Question 37 which tested the application of Stefans Law in heat radiation with respect to
a large blackened metal cube.
Question 45 which tested the calculation of the work done from a forceextension graph .
UNIT 1
Paper 01
Question 1
This question was intended to test candidates understanding of momentum and impulse of a force
and to relate the two quantities by analysis of a graph. Parts (b) (i), (iii) and (c) (i) were basic and
elementary, affording every candidate the opportunity to score a minimum of 6 marks. It was not
unusual for candidates to write the equation required for (a) (i) using symbols other than those given,
simply because they could not define impulse as Fxt and relate it to change in momentum. Some
candidates failed to recognise that the line to be drawn in (c) (ii) could be drawn from the coordinates
(0, 17.6) and (5.6, 3.9) derived from the answers to Part (b) of the question. Few candidates correctly
analysed the graphs to obtain answers for Parts (c) (iv) and (v).
Question 2
Simple Harmonic Motion (S.H.M.) as it applies to the depth of water at a harbour as the tide changes
was the emphasis in this question.
Part (a) merely tested if the candidates really understood what is Simple Harmonic Motion. It was
disappointing to see how few candidates could state the criteria required for a system to be performing
S.H.M.
In Part (b), a number of candidates misinterpreted the graph of variation of depth of water in the
harbour with time, and treated it as a portrayal of a wave in the sea. It was a sketch graph, not drawn
to scale. Candidates should be encouraged to use very specific language or expressions when giving
word responses. Too many vague descriptions were used in describing the procedure in Part (b). This
is a planning and design skill in the SBAs.
Many candidates performed poorly in Part (c) (i) and (ii). Their mathematical skills failed them.
is the angle of the function and cannot be separated into Sin and . The calculator needed
to be in the radian mode rather than degree mode, to obtain the following answers:
c (i) 4m; c (ii) 1 hour, 5 hours; c (iii) 4 hours.
Question 3
This question focused on Specific Objective 1.5 of Module 3.
Candidates were able to apply the equation for the empirical scale in Part (a). Precisely what was
being asked in (b) (i) was not clear to the average student and so the question did not yield the type of
responses expected by the examiner. All that was needed was a statement suggesting to agree with
old Celsius scale.
4
In Part (c) it was instructed that the Ptr scale should start at 0, because in Part (e) the intercept had to
be read off. Candidates seemed not to appreciate the reasoning for this and proceeded to start both
scales from zero. The range of data for Pt /Ptr was too small for a proper graph to be plotted starting Pt
Ptr axis from zero. The graph plotting skills, which should be developed in the SBAs, left a lot to be
desired in this question. It must be emphasised that the accurate relationship between Celsius and
Kelvin is 0C = T/k  273.15 and not 273.16.
Paper 2
Question 4
Part (a) (i) of this question was done the worst. All the definitions were in general poorly stated.
Kinetic energy being the best done and energy the worst. It was surprising that candidates who
scored high marks in this question could not define energy as the capacity to do work. Even though
a number of candidates could define kinetic energy, too many candidates gave vague or incorrect
responses such as energy in motion, moving energy, etc. Many candidates confused gravitational
potential energy with gravitational potential.
In Part (a) (ii) candidates were in general not sequential in their proof for kinetic energy and omitted
steps.
For Part (b) (ii), instead of determining the velocity by equating kinetic energy to gravitational
potential energy, attempts were made at using the equation. v2 = u2 + 2as. Using v=rw to solve for w
was done by many candidates, but the weaker students attempted to use a=rw2 and substituted
a=9.81ms2. The centripetal force was not understood to be the resultant of the tension and the weight
and therefore should not have been included in the free body diagram. In order to determine the
2
mv
tension, many candidates correctly used (T mg
), but some of the weaker candidates even
r
attempted to use T 2
l
g .
Question 5
This question was intended to test the use of the formula
1 1 1
= +
as it applies to the human eye in
f u
correcting eye defects. Most candidates had a reasonable idea of accommodation but very few
candidates could distinguish between depth of focus the distance or range within which images
seem to be in focus and the term depth of field which applies to a range of object distances. Some
treated these terms as being synonymous. It was easy to identify the eye defect as longsight and
know that it can be corrected with the use of a convex lens, but to illustrate this with a ray diagram
proved to be difficult. The need to use the formula
1 1 1
= + to solve (c) (i), (ii) and (iii) was
f u
easily recognised, but many candidates failed to apply the sign convention correctly to the appropriate
object and image distances. Another downfall was not knowing that a power of 2.O D applies to a
lens of focal length 0.5 m (or 50 cm) in the S.I. system. Correct calculations gave answers: c (i) 50
cm, (c) (ii) 200 cm; c (iii) 3.5 D.
5
Question 6
This question tested candidates ability to state and use some equations in Thermodynamics. There
was no doubt that candidates had met equations like Q W ; CpCv = R; PV=nRT; Q=nCv T
and W = P V , but making an accurate statement for each symbol caused problems. Expressions
such as work done by and work done on need to be clarified. Candidates lost marks carelessly:
not changing the subject on an equation correctly; incorrect readoffs from the graph: these were two
of the popular mistakes. Candidates at this level should show a greater appreciation for significant
figures and avoid stating final answers to numerous figures when the data provided is only quoted to a
few significant figures.
UNIT 2
Paper 01
Candidates scored well on the questions on this paper.
Paper 02
Question 1
The topic on I V characteristics is well known by most, but at this level candidates are expected to
be familiar with the use of the potential divider circuit used to examine I  V characteristics. They
need also to understand the advantage of using the potential divider instead of putting a rheostat in
series with the ammeter and the diode.
Part (c) involved some mathematics with a logarithmic equation, which proved to be a problem for
some candidates. Candidates must not shy away from these mathematical techniques which are part
of the Physics course. Please refer to the syllabus under Mathematical Requirements.
Answers: n = 1.5; k = 5 x 103
Question 2
There were some good attempts at this question.
Parts (a) (i) and (ii), could be answered by most candidates.
In Part (a) (iii), candidates had a good theoretical knowledge for constructing the NAND gate with the
NOR gates, but failed to apply it practically in the QUAD NOR gate diagram, by making the correct
connections.
In Part (b) (ii), completing the truth table was easy, but a surprising number of candidates could not
use the output from the table to deduce the answer for Part (b) (iii) and simply say the lamp will burn
when A and B have different states.
In Part (c) (iv), difficulty was again experienced in constructing the EXOR gate using a combination
of NAND gates. Perhaps greater emphasis could be placed on equivalence relationships using NAND
and NOR gates.
6
Question 3
This question required a good understanding of the quantities in the photoelectric emission equations
hf =+ 1 2 mv2 and hf =+ eVs and the ability to use them appropriately. The majority of candidates
knew that h is the symbol for Plancks constant, but there was a variety of misconceptions expressed
for the other symbols, hence the difficulty in sketching the graph for Part (a) (ii) and clearly
identifying the stopping potential, Vs. Again, lack of knowledge and clear understanding of the
symbols in the formulae was reflected in Part (b) (iii). The gradient of the graph is
h
and not h;
e
intercept of the frequency axis is the threshold frequency. The nature of the question was such that 4
marks could have been scored for plotting the graph without any sound knowledge of the topic of
photoelectric emission.
Question 4
The responses to this question suggest that candidates are not spending enough time trying to
comprehend well enough to be able to explain and apply concepts.
Part (a) was testing a recall of knowledge on magnetic fields and electromagnetic induction, and many
were unable to express their thoughts with any degree of clarity. It was obvious that they had done
0 I
2r
, B=
2r
NI , B =
o nI
Which formulae are to be applied and when, caused problems. Some candidates could not distinguish
between n and N, hence they juggled with the numerical data given in an attempt to gain marks in Part
(b). Those who knew and understood what the symbols in the equations represented easily gained
marks in the calculations.
Answers (b) 12.6 x 103 T; 1.58 x 105 Wb; 15.1 mV.
Question 5
The objectives tested were well within the syllabus. However, it was amazing to see the number of
candidates who either did not, or could not, determine the frequency of a waveform having been given
its period, as in Part (c) (i). Based on the responses, candidates appeared not to be familiar enough
with the specific objectives of the syllabus on operational amplifiers. Far too many candidates failed
to see that the graph in Fig. 6 is a logarithmic graph and as such the actual frequency between 1 and
10, 10 and 102 etc. is not on a linear scale. It was disappointing to see how many candidates at this
level did not convert ms to s correctly. In Part (c), although candidates recognised that clipping
would have occurred at 15V, the failure to apply this by the flattening of the graph for the output
voltage was obvious.
Question 6
This Radioactivity question was not so well done by many candidates. The definition of half life
was the only thing that allowed some candidates to get a single mark. There were some candidates
however who were able to score full marks and presented their responses in clear logical steps. As
occurred in some of the earlier questions, the mathematics caused a problem. Correct use of SI Units
and simple conversions like hours to seconds should not be a problem at this level.
Part (c) was not readily comprehended and was worth 5 marks, so that candidates scoring less than 10
marks surely lost their marks in Part (c).
7
Answers: (b) (i) 12.8 x 106 51; (ii) 2.51 x 1019 atoms; (iii) 3.21 x 1014 Bq
(c) 6000 cm3
Paper 03/2  (Alternative to Internal Assessment)
Fourteen candidates wrote this paper which was offered for the first time this year. Candidates
responses revealed that they were not well prepared for this paper. The mean for this paper was 21.43
out of 48 and the range was 7 34. It is expected that as the offering of this paper becomes widely
known more candidates will opt to write this paper and performance will increase.
MAY/JUNE 2010
PHYSICS
2
GENERAL COMMENTS
The number of candidates registered for CAPE Physics in 2010 increased from 2790 to 2999 and
1795 to 2330 for Units 1 and 2 respectively. For Unit 1, ninetyone per cent of the candidates earned
Grades I III and for Unit 2, eightytwo per cent of the candidates earned Grades I III.
Some areas of poor performance were:
Question 1
Part (a) (i) was easy and straightforward and most candidates were able to plot the graph.
Part (a) (ii) required candidates to describe qualitatively; it was expected that they would recognize
that the ball rolled down the plane with uniform acceleration, collided with the block and rebounded
up the plane, eventually coming to rest. In Part (a) (iii), the instruction given was to calculate, but it
was expected that the graph would be used to determine the answers by working out the gradient and
area under the graph. A few candidates recognized that the force was related to Newtons second
Law:
F = mv mu
t
Teachers should remember to emphasize that energy is conserved during an elastic collision.
Answer: a (iii) 3.5 m s2; 2.5 m; 91.2N
Question 2
In Part (a), candidates failed to draw rays of light through a rectangular block and a triangular prism
correctly. Very few were able to show what happens with white light as it passes through a
diffraction grating. In Part (b) (ii), the majority of candidates were able to recognize the action of
total internal reflection. Too many candidates complicated matters because they learnt the formula
n = Sin 1/Sin 2 or n = Sin i/Sin r, without a clear understanding of its use. When teaching this topic,
teachers should be sure to emphasise what is meant by the refractive index of a medium like glass:
airnglass
= Sin air or
Sin glass
n, Sin , = n2 Sin 2
The ability to read off values from the graph scales to fill in the table and to determine the gradient
seemed a difficult task for some candidates.
Answer: (b) (iii) 1.45
3
Question 3
All candidates seemed familiar with this topic relating to Youngs modulus. It was easy for them to
gain a few marks from Part (a) for defining the terms stress and strain, and sketching at least one
of the graphs correctly. It was disappointing to see that many candidates could not fill in the missing
values of Extension, L/m correctly. In addition, there were those candidates who knew how to
calculate the extension but ignored the units given in the table. Almost every candidate could recall
Youngs modulus =
X
Question 5
Teachers need to define clearly for students the threshold of hearing and threshold of pain. For
Part (a) (i), many candidates defined those terms as a range of frequencies or as a point rather than a
specific intensity.
Most candidates were not aware that the answer for Part (a) (ii) was that the ear responds to a wide
range of intensities of sound or that the ears response to sound intensity is logarithmic. Many
candidates also misinterpreted the phrase property of the ear to mean a physical feature of the ear.
In Part (a) (iii), many candidates did not know the expression = 10 log10 (l/lo). Some were not able
to write log10 and instead wrote log 10 which is, of course, incorrect. Others wrote 1 as the subject of
the equation instead of .
For Part (a) (iv), several candidates did not recognize 3.82 mWm2 as 3.82 x 103 Wm2, where the first
m in the unit was the prefix milli = 103.
Part (a) (v) was fairly well answered. Most candidates understood that there would be a reduced
ability to hear frequencies and that the audible range of frequencies will decrease especially at the
upper end. However, they did not recognize that the threshold of hearing would increase, not
decrease, since the intensity that you would need to hear a particular frequency would increase. There
were candidates who did not know that 108 was greater than 1012. Candidates misused frequency for
intensity.
In Part (b) (i), the majority of candidates did not recognize that upon reflection that the reflected
sound would have a smaller amplitude than the incident sound wave due to loss of energy and hence
upon destructive interference, the wave would not completely cancel out. Some candidates did not
recognize that the destructive interference is caused by the interaction between the incident wave and
the reflected wave and not interference between the incident wavefronts.
For Part (b) (ii), a fair number of candidates calculated and subsequently the frequency, f, based on
their interpretation of the diagram drawn in the question. However, there were some candidates who
were not able to calculate . Some candidates did not even know the formula v = f. Many used as
2.25m.
In Part (b) (iii), the vast majority of candidates calculated correctly but were not able to go on and
determine the distance from the wall. They did not recognize that there was a node at the wall and
that the distance between the node (which occurred at the wall) and the next node was /2 = 1 m and
hence the maxima in between would be /4 = 2/4 = 0.5 m from the wall.
Answer: (a) (iii) 96dB
Question 6
The examiners were dismayed by the number of candidates who could not use their knowledge of the
transfer of energy by radiation to give an adequate explanation of the greenhouse effect in Part (a).
The conduction of heat through the walls of a stove and the subsequent loss of this energy to the
surroundings was the subject of calculations in Part (b). The majority of candidates had little
difficulty calculating the rate of conduction, 277 kW, and scored well.
Few candidates scored more than one or two marks for the remainder of Part (b). Even though
candidates were able to write the equation for Stefans law, they were unable in most cases, to use it:
they either selected the wrong temperatures or failed to convert correctly to Kelvins. Only the very
best candidates obtained the correct answer of 185 kW.
Part (b) (iii) seemed to be misunderstood. It was expected that candidates would see that the rate of
radiation away from the stove was 92 kW less than the rate of conduction to the outside of the stove
and that this difference must be accounted for by conduction to the surrounding air and subsequent
convection currents.
Paper 03/2 Alternative to Internal Assessment
This was the second year that this paper was offered. Seven candidates wrote Unit 1 and six wrote
Unit 2. Unfortunately, there was no improvement when compared with 2009. The responses were
poor and again supervisors failed to submit the required information needed by the examiner to assist
with the marking. Entries were from three different centres and only one of these centres submitted a
Supervisors Report.
UNIT 2
Paper 02 Structured Questions and Essay Questions
Question 1
Candidates found it relatively easy to score more than half of the mark on this question. Once they
had studied the topic on capacitors in the syllabus, it was easy to apply the formulae to Parts (a) (i)
and (a) (ii) even if the definition for capacitance was not accurately stated. Part (b) involved taking
data from one graph and completing a table to plot another graph. This task could be carried out with
any knowledge of capacitors. Where candidates fell down, however, was in making the conclusion in
Part (b) (ii). Every Physics student should be able to make a conclusion such as y is directly
proportional to x if the graph is a straight line passing through the origin.
Answers: (a) (ii) 13 x 103 C;
(iii) 38 x 103J]
Question 2
In Part (a) (i) a), it was not enough to say that ptype materials had positive charge carriers; these
carriers had to be identified. Therefore, few candidates could state a ptype material as a
semiconductor material in which holes are the majority charge carriers.
For Part (a) (i) b), candidates found it difficult to explain that ntype material has electrons as the
majority charge carriers.
For Part (a) (i) c), many candidates were not aware that the depletion region is an area where there
are no charge carriers, that is, it is devoid of charge carriers.
With regard to the diagram of a junction transistor, Part (a) (ii) was poorly done. Many candidates
were not able to correctly draw the diagram along with the corresponding symbol for it.
n
Many candidates drew the diagram incorrectly with no connections, for example:
n
Most candidates drew the symbol for the semiconductor diode instead of the transistor and some
candidates did not place the arrow on the emitter for the symbol.
6
The majority of candidates completed the table correctly in Part (b) (i). However, some of them did
not know how to find the n of numbers, while others converted the values of n A to Amperes and
then tried finding n, hence getting negative values for the table.
In Part (b) (ii), the majority of candidates were able to plot the graph, however, the major problem
with the graph was the choosing of an appropriate scale for the axes. Teachers need to focus on this
aspect of graph plotting with their students and also on the drawing of the line of best fit.
Some candidates plotted V against nI, showing clearly that they were not aware as to which variable
goes on which axis.
There were candidates who tried to use the power of 10 on the axes to convert the decimal to whole
numbers but used the wrong power. More care is required when plotting the points since many
candidates plotted the last point incorrectly.
Many candidates were able to write the correct equations for Part (b) (iii). However, some of them
wrote expression or proportional relationships. Teachers should remind students that equations have
an equal sign. More emphasis needs to be placed on showing students how to manipulate terms with
natural logs and exponents.
Although some candidates got the correct equation in Part (b) (iv), they were not able to figure out the
gradient of the line m = e/nkt. They included the variable V in the expression for the gradient. With
regard to the calculation of the gradient, most candidates were able to accomplish this, although some
candidates were not able to correctly read off one or more of the values from the graph, or took values
from the graph or table which were not on the line drawn. Hence, they calculated the wrong value for
the gradient.
Of those candidates who were able to recognize the gradient as m = e/nkt, some of them were not able
to transpose correctly to get n = e/mkt. There were candidates who, in calculating the gradient,
multiplied the values of nI by 106 in an attempt to convert to Amperes, which was incorrect. They
did not recognize that the log of a quantity does not have a unit.
Teachers need to help students to sharpen their algebraic skills so that they are able to gain maximum
marks for questions. Some candidates mixed up the natural log with the e, the charge of an electron
(1.6 x 1019C).
Answer: (b) (iv) 1.4)
Question 3
This question focused on the concept of radioactive halflife. Part (a) required candidates to describe
how to determine the halflife of a sample of radon220 gas, whilst Part (b) involved calculations on
the decay of the same gas.
A suitable method for finding the halflife of radon220 is described in the CAPE syllabus on page 62
and in most of the texts used at this level. It was therefore very disappointing to see so many scripts
in which candidates scored zero.
The calculations in Part (b) were also poorly done. Far too many candidates abandoned the halflife
concept and resorted to using the exponential decay formula: surely the recognition that 108 seconds
is two halflife periods and the amount remaining as radon is reduced to one quarter is much simpler.
The number of particles emitted is then simply the number of atoms in 3 mg of radon220.
7
In Part (b) (ii), many candidates used the concept correctly and reduced the activity by a half, n times
n
either longhand or by saying that
=
.
However, those candidates who used the exponential equation made the exercise much longer and
were prone to making errors along the way and losing marks.
Question 4
Most candidates were able to state Kirchoffs Laws and the physical principles on which they are
based. Beyond this, the weaknesses started to show up. There was difficulty distinguishing between
the e.m.f and the p.d of a cell. Part (c), applying Kirchoffs Laws to the network given was a problem
for many. Some candidates, after writing the equations correctly, exhibited poor mathematical skills
and failed to reach the correct solution. A few of the more able candidates scored full marks on this
question.
Answers: (c) (i) 0.5A; (ii) 1A
Question 5
The responses to this question reflected a complete lack of knowledge of the opamp. Candidates
either did not respond to the question or scored zero when they attempted an answer. This suggests
that the topic was not taught. Scores in the range 14 marks were earned from b (i) (iii), implying
that some attempt might have been made at teaching the topic, but it was not clearly understood by the
candidates. This is a serious omission which needs to be corrected.
Answers: (b) (i) 3.0V; (ii) 0.42V
Question 6
The number of candidate who did not respond to this question and the low scores attained by those
who responded suggests that this topic was not taught or was inadequately covered. In Part (a), the
sketch graph should have been labelled and not left for the examiner to interpret; some of the sketches
were very poorly drawn. Part (b) was also on the topic of xrays. Throughout the entire question,
reference was made to xrays, yet some candidates tried to do the calculations using the formulae
associated with photoelectric effect. For many candidates, the only part of the entire question that
was attempted was b (i) where they used P = IV. This question is a good example of why teachers
should emphasize the general approach to questions involving calculations as: step 1, state equations
to be used; step 2, substitute values in equation; step 3, state calculated value with unit where
applicable. Candidates must not be allowed to juggle with numbers and then state an answer.
Instruction 4 on the front page of the question paper reads: All working MUST be CLEARLY shown.
(ii) 1.33 x 108 m s1;
(iii) 24.9 x 10
12
The mark recorded for each skill assessed by practical exercises should be the average of at
least two separate assessments.
As a result, many centres submitted two assessments for each skill. In some of these situations, the
two exercises did not meet the basic CAPE standards and therefore moderators were hard pressed to
find legitimate exercises to moderate.
b) No Assessment of Manipulation and Measurement
In some cases, there was no way of verifying how the manipulation and measurement scores were
determined. There was no record of the marks in candidates books.
c) No Mark Schemes Submitted
The number of cases where mark schemes were not submitted diminished over the previous year.
However, there are still some occurrences.
d) Mark Schemes Inadequate for Some Skills
Some centres continue to assess exercises using criteria that do not match the skill, for example, many
centres include plotting points as Analysis/Interpretation criteria when it is an Observation/
Recording/Reporting skill. Invariably, an inordinate number of marks were assigned to these criteria.
This inflated candidates marks.
Some centres failed to show how marks were assigned to the criteria. While marks were assigned, it
was unclear how the marks were awarded and almost always, candidates were awarded full marks.
The team also noted that the criteria must be specific to the task at hand. In an attempt to use the
same criteria for more than one exercise, some centres allowed the use of a common mark scheme.
There were cases in which one mark scheme was constructed to fit all exercises. This is not
recommended.
CARI BB E AN
E XA MINA TIONS
C OUN CIL
MAY/JUNE 2011
PHYSICS
2
GENERAL COMMENTS
There was an increase in the number of candidates writing the Unit 1 examination from
2,982 in 2010 to 3,208 in 2011. However, the number of Unit 2 candidates decreased from
2,143 in 2010 to 2,079 in 2011.
In both units, a major concern was the failure of candidates to pay attention to significant
figures in spite of the warning of penalties stated at the front of the exam papers. There
were cases where the question data was given with three significant figures but candidates
gave answers with only one figure, for example, 0.01 mol instead of 0.0114 mol
[Question6, Unit 1], causing all subsequent calculations to be inaccurate. Additionally, in
responses to the same question the examiners also saw pressures written as 21 382.82 Pa. It
is important that teachers stress the use of significant figures rather than merely the
simplistic instruction Answer to two decimal places.
Physical quantities usually consist of a number and a unit but candidates at both levels were
frequently omitting the units in their responses. Some candidates added 90 J + 475 K to get
565 J [Question 6 Unit 1] or subtracted distance in cm from the count rate, for example,
427 counts per minute  30 cm = 397 counts per minute [Question3 Unit 2]. These errors
were very common. Teachers need to be aware of this problem and, throughout the course,
emphasize the requirement that all physical quantities have a magnitude and a unit and that
all equations have consistent units in each term.
Using the gradient of a graph to get an accurate mean value of a quantity is standard
practice in Physics; however, many candidates in both units lacked this skill. In many
cases, they were content to take two values from the table and substitute in the given
formula, defeating the object of plotting a graph. Better candidates used the equation to find
the significance of the gradient and hence the value of the required quantity (for example,
Question 2 Unit 1 where the gradient was (T/) ). However, many forfeited marks by
using points from the table rather than a large triangle on the graph for the calculation of
the gradient.
DETAILED COMMENTS
UNIT 1
Paper 02 Structured and Free Response Questions
Question 1
A weakness in deriving equations for a given situation was evident in this item about
falling under the influence of gravity with a nonzero drag force. Candidates were expected
to use the free body diagram in (a) (i) as a starting point but many of them tried to work
backwards from the final equation for the acceleration.
The graph plotting was not, in general, of a high standard: the scales chosen for the log
graph sometimes made the positioning of points difficult and the weaker candidates were
unable to cope with lg (ga) having both positive and negative values.
3
Question 2
The phenomenon called resonance was known by most candidates but the concept of a
standing wave being produced in the air column above the water and producing a loud
sound was not well explained.
The graph required in Part (b) was drawn accurately by the majority of candidates but many
of them subsequently lost marks by not getting an accurate value for the gradient or by not
using it to determine the mass per unit length of the wire.
Question 3
Writing the definition of specific latent heat of fusion was expected to give candidates an
easy mark. However, several candidates lost marks as a result of omitting fundamental
parts of the definition such as per kilogram or at constant temperature.
The use of a large gradient triangle for the two gradients would have given candidates full
marks but some of them used points too close together or even points which were not
actually on the line. Linking the slower temperature rise per minute for the liquid to the
specific heat capacity also proved to be challenging for many candidates.
The calculations based on the graph in Parts (iv) and (v) were not well done: the use of
unconventional units like J per minute should not be beyond the ability of candidates at this
level. Teachers might need to give their students more practice to develop problemsolving
skills, rather than simple questions which just require equation substitution.
Question 4
There were many good responses to this question about conservation of mechanical energy
and projectile motion. Marks were lost by those candidates who, without explanation, used
equations of linear vertical motion to calculate a horizontal velocity instead of energy
conservation, used the wrong height in the energy calculation (this was quite common) or
failed to apply s +Uvt + at2 correctly with Uv = 0 for the vertical component of the motion
of the skier.
Question 5
Candidates did not perform satisfactorily on this question. The idea that refraction is a
bending of light caused by transition into a different medium and diffraction is the
spreading of light due to an obstacle or gap was poorly understood and the discussions of
the action of a grating were consequently poor.
Part (b) was a standard diffraction grating calculation. Obviously, some candidates did not
have adequate experience of this type of problem and found it very difficult.
Question 6
In general, candidates responses in this thermodynamics question were very poor. The few
marks gained were usually for the calculations in Part (a) and Part (c) involving the
application of the gas laws.
There seemed to be great difficulty in using the kinetic theory of gases and also in grasping
the meaning of the first law of thermodynamics. Many candidates confused the concepts of
heat, temperature and internal energy and used them interchangeably. On several occasions,
the examiners came across equations similar to
U = + W
(either written explicitly or implied) and some candidates even wrote Heat energy evolved
from the work done on the gas is 790 K 315 K and proceeded in Part (d) to add 90 J +
475 K to get an increase in internal energy of 565J.
Teachers need to be aware that they cannot assume that, having passed CSEC Physics, all
of their students will have understood the difference between heat and temperature.
Without this concept it is going to be very difficult to get across the idea that the internal
energy (and temperature) of a substance can be raised when the substance has not been
heated. It would also help if teachers used the form of thermodynamic law stated in the
syllabus U = Q + W (sic, with no extra deltas) which can be read as the internal energy
can be raised either by heating or by doing work on it, thus emphasizing the fact that doing
work can also raise the temperature.
UNIT 2
Paper 02 Structured and Essay Questions
Question 1
Magnetic flux density is defined from the equation F=BIL where B and I are at right angles.
Many candidates lost marks by not paying attention to details in their definitions omitting
per unit current or per unit length. Some defined the tesla or the weber instead.
The drawings of the catapult field around the currentcarrying wire in a uniform field
were extremely poor: most candidates had little idea of how the fields interacted to give an
upward force on the conductor.
More care should have been taken with the derivation of the relationship between the
crossed fields when the beam of electrons was undeflected. Many candidates working
could not be followed because they used the same symbol F for both types of force.
However, the subsequent calculations were usually done accurately.
Question 2
A number of candidates were either unable to attempt this question or were only able to
score one mark. This may have occurred if Module 2 was the last module taught and
5
therefore teachers rushed through this portion of the syllabus. Based on the responses, what
was evident was that candidates require more help understanding digital electronics.
Teachers need to be aware that there is a problem and seek to remedy this.
An RS flipflop has the strange property that for the same input there are two different
complementary output states. Most candidates who attempted this question did not
understand this and performed poorly on Part (a).
Candidates experienced difficulties in attempting to show the connection of NOR gates to
form a bistable. Many of them tried to use all four NOR gates on the QuadNOR chip even
if their rough work showed the correct circuit. Schools must find ways of purchasing the
equipment needed for this section of the syllabus, if their students are to gain a full
understanding of these circuits.
Overall, candidates were able to score better on the other parts of the question and showed
a good grasp of the use of timing diagrams.
Question 3
The majority of the marks were awarded for adding radiation labels to an absorption
diagram and plotting a straight line graph. Candidates scored well on these aspects. They
lost marks, however, for not being able to find the corrected count rate from the given data,
and not manipulating the information to come up with the correct equation for the linear
graph.
Question 4
The formula for the capacitance of a combination of capacitors in series was well known
though candidates proofs were not well set out or had no diagram. Many candidates
misread Part (a) and had three capacitors even though the instructions were in bold.
Candidates charge/discharge circuits often included irrelevant components (for example,
ammeters) and many of the circuits shown would not have worked. More circuit work in
the laboratory would probably improve candidates ability to read diagrams and set up
circuits correctly.
The analysis of the graphical data provided proved to be challenging for some candidates.
Only the better candidates understood the concept of a timeconstant in seconds and were
able to interpret the gradient correctly to obtain the value of C for the combined capacitors.
Question 5
Like the corresponding question on Module 2, the performance of candidates was very
poor. Few candidates understood the principle of the operational amp. comparator and so
they were unable to recognize that saturation occurs when one input voltage exceeds the
other by a few microvolts. The production of a square wave with a nonunity mark to space
6
ratio by changing the reference voltage was therefore beyond the experience of most
candidates.
From the more wellprepared candidates there were some good diagrams of the noninverting amplifier in Part (c) and most of these were able to make good attempts at solving
the numerical problems.
Question 6
Teachers will need to pay more attention to the teaching of the physics of nuclear fission
judging from the many poor attempts at the first part of this question.
The calculations based on the comparison of nuclear fuel with fossil fuel were performed
successfully by many. Weaker candidates had difficulty with using powers of ten on their
calculators and quite a few were confused by the 25 per cent efficiency and as a result had
an energy output greater than the input.
Paper 032 Alternative to SchoolBased Assessment (SBA)
UNIT 1
Only eight candidates wrote this paper. Overall their performance was rather weak.
Question 1, which concerned the data collected from an experiment on the collision of two
pendulums, was not well done because, it seemed, candidates could not handle the
trigonometry required.
The collection of data for the path of light through a prism in Question 2 using pins was not
done carefully enough for candidates to plot good graphs from their data and so the
submitted values of the refractive index were quite inaccurate. Perhaps these candidates
lacked experience in doing simple optical experiments.
Question 3 which focused on finding absolute zero using a gas thermometer also proved to
be unfamiliar to most of the candidates and their efforts were not very convincing.
UNIT 2
Most CAPE candidates are able to do the internal assessment at school and this paper
continues to attract a very small number of entrants (that is, six candidates). Like the Unit 1
paper, there was one actual experiment and two written structured questions on this paper.
Question 1 required clear descriptions of how an electrolysis experiment would be
conducted but candidates poor English let them down.
The experiment in Question 2 was performed fairly well though some candidates had to
enlist the supervisors help in connecting the potential divider to the diode.
7
Similarly, the descriptions of experiments to illustrate exponential decay in Question 3
were poorly written but candidates were able to recover to some extent by drawing good
graphs in Part (b) and concluding that the experiment showed the random nature of
radioactive decay.
Paper 031 SchoolBased Assessment (SBA)
Across both Unit 1 and 2, performance on the SBA component of the examination was
consistent with that of 2010. However, there is one particular area of concern that has been
noticed and needs to be addressed. There are numerous cases where only two assessments
are done for a particular skill. This is inadequate. This stems from a misinterpretation of the
CXC CAPE syllabus, (page 67, specific guidelines for teachers #3), which reads The marks
recorded for each skill must be the average of at least two separate assessments. As a
result, some centres submitted two assessments in each skill.
In some cases, those exercises did not meet CAPE standards and therefore moderators were
hardpressed to find legitimate exercises to review.
There has also been a noticeable increase in the number of centres for which adverse
comments had to be made. These comments were directed at concerns that were addressed
over the years. There was a recurrence of some of these concerns. These include:
Planning and Design (P/D) exercises
o Many of the exercises chosen could be found in a textbook. These types of exercises
cannot be done as P/D exercises without modification.
o There was an apparent lack of guidance from the teacher. Some procedures were totally
farfetched and well nigh impossible.
o Most P/D exercises involved and were limited to the theoretical testing of a hypothesis.
The team noted that very few P/D exercises were executed.
o There was an absence of mathematical concepts in those exercises that were executed.
o There were some exercises that were trivial. Invariably, teachers awarded full marks for
these exercises.
Analysis and Interpretation (A&I) exercises
o Some centres tried to apply the same mark scheme to all A/I exercises.
o Some Observation/Recording/Reporting (O/R/R) criteria were mistakenly used as A/I
criteria. This occurred most frequently in the exercises that involved the plotting of
graphs.
o There was a general lack of discussion of errors that were peculiar to certain exercises.
The analysis aspect of the skill was therefore lost.
o Significant figures were incorrectly applied.
o Units were omitted where they were required and inserted where they were not
required.
There were instances where there was no evidence that the other skills
Manipulation/Measurement and Observation/Recording/Reporting were assessed. Yet still
8
candidates were awarded full marks by their teacher. This inflates the marks and distorts
the entire picture.
It should be stated that there were some positive indicators that should be noted, namely:
o There was some improvement in the quality of mark schemes in some centres.
o There is some evidence of communication among teachers who participate in the
CXC marking exercises. However, the message has not gone to those who do not
participate.
CARI BB E AN
E XA MINA TIONS
C OUN CIL
MAY/JUNE 2013
PHYSICS
2
GENERAL COMMENTS
In 2013, the number of candidates who wrote the Unit 1 examination increased to 3621 from 3141 in
2012; the number of candidates who sat the Unit 2 examination increased to 2659 candidates from 2278
in 2012.
Overall, candidate performance improved. However, the improved performance on Paper 01 was not
commensurate with the performance on Paper 02. The following concerns were noted for Paper 02 in
both units.
There were instances where candidates failed to pay attention to the number of significant figures when
writing final answers to questions, although the penalty was stated at the front of the examination
papers. It is important that teachers impress upon their students the importance of significant figures. It
seems that candidates did not completely appreciate that an answer cannot be more accurate than the
accuracy of the variables/data used in the calculation.
Too many candidates stated their answers as a number only, without including the relevant unit.
Teachers should emphasize to their students that all physical quantities have a magnitude and a unit.
A large number of candidates seemed to find it difficult to compose an adequate response to questions
which require extensive verbal discourse. Questions in which the action word is explain, describe or
discuss often elicited very weak responses.
Teachers are encouraged to take note of these concerns and to devise corrective measures. Students
should be provided with adequate opportunities to practise writing answers to this type of question with
particular attention being given to a structured approach. Some teachers may even find it useful to
provide exemplars with sequentially numbered points designed to reinforce the logic of an explanation
or discussion.
UNIT 1
Paper 01 Multiple Choice Questions
This paper comprised 45 questions with 15 questions based on each of the three Modules: Module 1
Mechanics, Module 2 Oscillation and Waves, and Module 3 Thermal and Mechanical Properties of
Matter.
The performance of candidates on this paper was good. The mean score was 73 per cent; the standard
deviation was 9.89; and reliability was 0.93.
Candidates performed best on Module 2, then Module 1 followed by Module 3. In each case the mean
performance on the Module was greater than 54 per cent.
DETAILED COMMENTS
Paper 02 Structured and Free Response Questions
Question 1
Most candidates made a fair attempt at this question.
For Part (a) (i), many candidates encountered difficulties calculating the expected values for the table
because they did not use the value of g provided in the table of constants at the front of the examination
3
paper opting instead to use a value of 10 m/s2, which for most purposes is acceptable at the CSEC level
but not at the CAPE level. Teachers should encourage their students to use the relevant values provided
in the table of constants for all calculations in the examination.
In Part (a) (ii), many candidates overlooked plotting the point (0,0) from the data provided in the table
and 1:3 scales were used in many instances. Teachers should encourage their students to use all the data
provided when making plots and selecting a suitable scale.
For Part (a) (iii), the majority of candidates calculated the gradient of the graph and assumed that it was
the height from which the ball was dropped seemingly not recognizing that the height from which the
ball was dropped was the area under the velocity/time graph.
In Part (b) (i), too many candidates did not recognize that g ought to have been negative in both these
questions.
For Part (b) (ii), some candidates seemed to have interpreted show to mean that a qualitative description
was required and presented an explanation, and in some cases an accompanying diagram. Teachers need
to be aware of this and indicate to their students that show can have both qualitative and quantitative
interpretations.
Overall, candidates scores on this question were satisfactory with about 40 per cent of candidates
attaining scores greater than 6.
Question 2
This question was attempted by all candidates. The majority of candidates scored within the range 714
marks. The modal mark was 13.
In Part (a), many candidates were unable to state the explicit similarities and differences between
transverse and longitudinal waves, and to cite appropriate examples of each. Consequently, candidates
lost some or all of the marks in this question.
For Part (b), while many candidates knew the wave equation, a number of them did not accurately
factor into their calculations the temperature dependence of the speed of sound. Most candidates scored
either 1 or 2 marks in this section. Teachers should emphasize this relationship to their students.
Part (c) was generally well done by candidates. The biggest challenge was candidates inability to
choose an appropriate scale for the values to be plotted. However, most were able to use the graph
plotted to determine the speed of sound. A few calculated the speed of sound by nongraphical methods.
Teachers need to be aware of this and to urge their students that when instructed to use the graph that
they should so do.
Overall, this question was fairly well done with approximately 70 per cent of the candidates scoring
7 marks or more.
Question 3
Performance on this question revealed that the mathematics skills of many candidates are weak. This
weakness in mathematical skills contributed to the unsatisfactory performance. The modal mark for this
question was 2.
Parts (a) (b) require the use of a given formula to deduce the appropriate units. However, the formula
given had a typographical error. The examining committee apologizes for the error and the
inconvenience to the candidates.
4
In Part (c), many candidates attempted to do the ratio but they did not know how to introduce the
constant of proportionality, k. Candidates who introduced the constant mistakenly thought that it was
Boltzmanns constant, and used this in their calculations. Many candidates did not know how to do the
manipulations to get the 1.07 asked for in the question. This led to strange mathematics, in which too
many candidates presented anything they thought would get the desired answer.
Teachers should encourage students to practise the correct way of writing rootmeansquare speed using
symbols. The majority of candidates did not write this correctly, using many variations instead of the
correct
or .
Teachers and students should also pay adequate attention to mathematical skills necessary for
performing calculations in Physics. Too many candidates could not make a serious attempt at this
question as they did not know the difference between a square and squareroot.
Candidates performed best on Part (d). However, several candidates
missed the concept that the volume remained constant through the process.
did not use the correct symbols, using pV = NRT or pV = nrT instead of pV = nRT.
had poor math skills which prevented them from transposing the formula to get the
correct answer for the new value of n.
used the general gas equation with some indicating that if V is constant then p = nRT.
Part (e) proved to be the most difficult part of the question for those who attempted it. While some
candidates knew that the work done was the area under the graph, many of them did not calculate this
correctly. They either did not calculate the whole area, or they did not use the scale on the graph
correctly. Many also used the method of counting squares to find the area.
This method was not the most appropriate for the question, but it could be done. Some candidates read
off the wrong values, and others found the gradients of the lines. Some candidates even used W = p
V, disregarding the fact that the pressure was not constant for the process.
The majority of candidates who attempted Part (f) did fairly well, even if they could not do any other
part of the question.
This question again was not a difficult one, however, it did indicate that the mathematics skills of many
candidates were lacking and this contributed to poor performance on the question.
Question 4
Overall, this question was poorly done.
In Part (a), the definition was worth two marks and most candidates did not produce a response that was
satisfactory enough to gain both marks.
While most candidates demonstrated a general understanding of the concept of moments, the ability to
use this knowledge to answer the question was lacking. For example, the fulcrum (pivot) of a seesaw
lies at its centre, but in the diagrams, most candidates illustrated the persons sitting at the ends of the
seesaw with the fulcrum shifted close to the 100kg person. More importantly, it was not made clear
that the distance of the 50kg person has to be at least twice that of the 100 kg person from the pivot to
achieve balance and/or lift.
Again, in Part (b) (i) an accurate definition proved challenging. Candidates did not include the concept
of a system of colliding objects or with no external forces acting.
In Part (b) (ii), several candidates did not properly identify the momentum equation which would have
subsequently allowed them to accurately substitute the values of the velocities from the table to achieve
the mass ratio. This led to them incorrectly equating for example,
,
where u represented velocity before collision and v represented velocity after collision.
Additionally, most of those who were able to accurately simplify the equation were unable to correctly
obtain the ratio. Instead they derived its reciprocal.
For Part (b) (iii), most candidates were able to effectively state the general equation for the kinetic
energy of the objects but did not calculate the total kinetic energy before collision. In their calculations,
many candidates either omitted the
or forgot to square the v. A few of them used the momentum
equation.
In Part (c), most candidates who gained results from their calculations correctly inferred whether the
collision was elastic or inelastic.
Question 5
In general, the responses to this question were fairly good. The majority of candidates earned between 3
and 11 marks, with a modal mark of 10 from a maximum of 15.
For Part (a), some candidates did not realize that the stationary wave consisted of two full wavelengths
occupying the distance of 0.4 m. When the alternative formula of fn= nv/2L was used, many candidates
used n = 5 nodes as opposed to 4 antinodes and so produced an incorrect answer. It was also expected
that at this level, candidates ought to be using v=f as opposed to using speed = distance /time to solve
for wave parameters.
The responses for Part (b) were quite poor since a large number of candidates did not know the equation
v=(T/).
In Part (c), many candidates did not correctly interpret the word determine and simply defined the wave
parameters required. It was also evident that many candidates could not correctly transpose a simple
mathematical equation to solve for unknowns. Many candidates also appeared to be unable to recognize
that the angles given in the equations supplied were expressed in degrees. Teachers are encouraged to
ensure that all their students are familiar with and can manipulate problems expressed either in radians
or degrees.
For Part (d), the majority of candidates did not pay attention to the frequency of the wave and attempted
to describe applications that were not associated with waves with an ultrasonic frequency. Also,
explanations given for the practical application were often quite unsatisfactory.
It is suggested that in order to prepare for questions of this nature, teachers should strive to provide
students with opportunities via research projects, or presentations to appreciate the applications of
Physics in daily life and (ii) to place more emphasis on the teaching of stationary waves and practice
questions.
Question 6
Although, this question was attempted by most of the candidates, the majority did not perform well.
The modal mark was 2.
In Part (a), the majority of candidates did not draw a 3D diagram. In a few cases where candidates drew
a 3D diagram, they failed to label the area A properly. Some who drew and labeled the 3D diagram
6
properly were unable to prove the equation, hence earning the marks for the diagram but not for the
proof.
For Part (b) (i), most candidates were able to apply the formula to calculate the pressure at a depth of
2.5 km. In this question, however, a number of candidates used G the universal gravitational
constant, instead of g the acceleration of gravity, to perform the calculation. Teachers should make
the distinction between both of these constants very clear to their students.
In Part (b) (ii), most candidates knew the formula for Youngs modulus (stress/strain). However, many
of them were unable to move beyond the recall of this formula to calculate the decrease in length of one
side of the cube.
For Part (c) (i), there is a clear distinction among proportional limit, elastic limit and yield point in terms
of definition and position on the force/extension graph. Many candidates did not seem to know this
distinction indicating that x on the graph was the elastic limit when in fact it was the proportional
limit. Teachers need to be aware of this and to point out the difference among these three terms to their
students.
In Part (c) (ii), many candidates did not make the distinction between strain and strain energy and
hence could not calculate strain energy using either area under that graph or the formula Fx. As a
result, many candidates got this question wrong.
Generally, this question was fairly well done by the candidates but converting from one prefix to
another seemed to be challenging for many of them (gigapascals to pascals).
7
measured the angle between the straight side of the glass block and the ray rather than the angle
between the ray and the normal.
Those candidates who correctly measured the angles and were able to complete the table showing
these angles and the values for sin and sin .
Few candidates could produce graphs with the appropriate scale. Some candidates plotted graphs of
sin versus sin .
Extrapolation of the line proved difficult for most candidates. Some candidates tried to calculate the
critical angle rather than using the graph to find the value.
Question 3
Candidates were required to find the specific heat capacity of an unknown liquid by manipulating the
data provided, plotting a graph and finding the gradient of the graph.
There was very little difficulty in completing the table and plotting the graph. Most candidates were
able to determine the gradient; however, there was some difficulty in calculating the value of the
specific heat capacity.
Candidates were challenged in transposing the equation, V I T = m c T, to find the value for c, the
specific heat capacity, given that the gradient of the graph would yield T/t and the transposed equation
would yield t/T. Very few candidates recognized that the gradient had to be inverted in order to find
the value for the specific heat capacity, c.
There was enough evidence to indicate that candidates understood the precautions that were necessary
for the execution of the experiment.
UNIT 2
Paper 01 Multiple Choice Questions
This paper comprised 45 questions with 15 questions based on each of the three Modules:
Module 1 Electricity and Magnetism, Module 2 AC Theory and Electronics, and Module 3 Atom
and Nuclear Physics.
The performance of candidates on this paper was quite good. The mean score was 74 per cent; the
standard deviation was 10.03; and reliability was 0.94.
Candidates performed best on Module 1, then Module 3 followed by Module 2. In each Module, the
mean performance on the Module was greater than 59 per cent.
8
UNIT 2
Paper 02 Structured and Free Response Questions
Question 1
Most candidates scored very high marks on this question approximately 65 per cent of the candidates
scored more than eight marks of the fifteen.
In Part (a), the majority of candidates were able to draw the required circuits and to derive the expected
expression for resistors in parallel.
Part (b) (i), was well done by most candidates. Weaker candidates were unable to score the marks here
because of poor mathematical skills.
Part (b) (ii) was perhaps the most challenging for the candidates. About 50 per cent of them were able to
earn the marks while some of the remaining candidates had difficulty determining the total current IT
and those who did calculate IT, were unable to follow through to calculate V2 because they did not
realize that they had to use V = I Req.
Part (c) (i) was generally well done by candidates. The only observed challenge that candidates seemed
to have had in this question was selecting an appropriate scale for the graph of I vs VT. A few candidates
interchanged the axes and plotted VT vs I instead.
For (c) (ii), most candidates were able to read off points to calculate the gradient but the problem in
many cases was the selection of the points. Many of them did not select a large triangle. Teachers need
to be aware of this and to impress upon their students the importance of selecting points that create a
triangle of adequate size.
Question 2
This question was not very well done with just about 40 per cent of the candidates scoring at least seven
marks. Most candidates who attempted this question earned the 2 marks allocated to Parts (a) (i) and
(iii), but many did not get the one mark allocated to Part (a) (ii), which required them to read off the
value from the graph. Candidates did not seem to recognize that unity gain bandwidth was equivalent in
meaning to the bandwidth for a gain of unity.
For Part (b) (i), majority of the candidates failed to recall that both inverting and noninverting
amplifiers utilize negative feedback so that many of the circuit diagrams were drawn inaccurately.
In Part (b) (ii), some candidates seemed not to have realized that they were required to use the resistor
values supplied earlier in the question to calculate the gain of the amplifier so a number of them lost the
calculation mark. A significant number of candidates misread 330 K for 300 and so arrived at an
incorrect value for the gain.
In Part (b) (iii), the instruction use the open loop gainfrequency curve seemed to have been ambiguous
to some candidates as many of them did not indicate the required value on the graph.
For Part (b) (iv), many candidates did not get the answer required. Although they knew the correct
formula, they were unable to manipulate it appropriately.
There seemed to have been some ambiguity in candidates interpretation of what the questions in
Part (b) were asking. In Part (b) (v), candidates seemed to have believed that the op amp was removed
from the circuit (based on the wording of Part (b) (iv) before) and in Part (b) (vi), candidates did not
recognize that the circuit being referred to was the one in Part (b) (v).
For Part (a) (ii), the calculation of V using the given expression elicited some strange responses because
many candidates substituted the values of the variables correctly but managed to get the wrong answer.
Others substituted the wrong values for the variables although several of these were given in the answer
booklet. A fairly significant number of candidates appeared to be unfamiliar with the meaning of the
prefix kilo.
The indications are that many candidates need to be guided on the proper use of calculators. Students
who complete the CAPE Physics programme should have an ingrained knowledge of the more common
quantitative prefixes. Such prefixes on a prominently displayed poster in the Physics laboratory could
be of some help in achieving this objective.
In Part (b) (i), the calculation was well done for the most part but many candidates did not recognize
that they needed to use the right hand grip rule to get the direction of the magnetic field. Teachers
should place a bit more emphasis on the application of this rule by assigning and correcting practice
problems which require its use.
Part (b) (ii) a) was poorly done. The majority of candidates did not recognize that the horizontal
component of the electrons velocity would be parallel to the magnetic field and hence would be
unaffected by it.
In Part (b) (ii) b), very few candidates recognized that the vertical component being perpendicular to the
field will experience a constant force perpendicular to the direction of motion, that is, a centripetal force
which will cause the electrons to move in a circle.
For Part (b) (ii) c), the majority of candidates did not seem to understand what was required. In fact,
this part of the question discriminated between the very good candidate and the average one. The good
candidates were able to come up with partial answers and a few well prepared ones were able to
10
produce completely correct answers. Teachers are encouraged to explain, probably with the aid of
models, what happens to a charged particle moving in a magnetic field.
Question 5
In Part (a), nearly half of the candidates failed to realize that with three inputs there would be eight
possible unique combinations of ones and zeros.
Students must be able to count in binary and realize that N binary digits can be used to represent 2N
different numbers (or combinations of ones and zeros).
For Part (b) (i), the majority of candidates did not seem to understand that what was required here was
an explanation of how the operational amplifier was used as a comparator in the given circuit. Too
many of them tried to explain how the entire circuit functioned. Teachers should provide their students
with some experience in qualitative circuit analysis. One of the skills that should be derived from the
study of electronics at this level is the ability to analyse simple circuits. Candidates should be able to
explain the function of each component and subsystem of simple circuits.
Because of candidates inability to analyse circuits component by component or subsystem by
subsystem, many of them provided the answer to Part (b) (ii) in their response to Part (b) (i). There was
no penalty for this. Nonetheless, teachers should emphasize the basics of writing examination answers
and encourage students to answer questions in the contexts in which they are asked.
For Part (b) (iii), while a considerable number of candidates were able to describe the operation of a
relay in detail, they could not give the reason why it was necessary in this particular circuit.
Part (c) required the use of equations which were not explicitly stated in the syllabus. Candidates were
not penalized.
Question 6
Performance on this question was unsatisfactory. Several candidates were unable to earn at least one of
the 15 marks allocated. This was particularly evident in Part (c).
Part (a) focused on the decay of a radioactive particle and was generally well known by prepared
candidates. However, too many candidates were unable to earn the mark allocated to this part.
For Part (b), candidates were required to manipulate an equation that models radioactive decay. It was
evident that for the majority, the necessary mathematical skills were lacking.
Part (c), required candidates to calculate the activity of radioactive nuclei and this presented difficulty
for most candidates. Again, it was evident that the necessary mathematical skills were lacking.
In Part (d), candidates were presented with a circuit to model the decay of a radioactive isotope.
Again, the performance on Part (d) was similar to that of Part (c) revealing a lack of necessary
mathematical skills.
11
Paper 032 Alternative to SchoolBased Assessment (SBA)
Question 1
Candidates were required to heat a sample of water to 100 C, measure the resistance of a thermistor
and record the resistance from a digital multimeter. The data was used to complete a table of
temperature in C, resistance in temperature in kelvin. Further, the natural logarithm of the resistance
and the reciprocal of the kelvin temperature were also required.
A graph of ln R versus 1/T was required from which the thermal exponent of the thermistor was
determined.
The resistance of the thermistor at a temperature of 71 C was to be extracted from the graph.
Candidates had little difficulty completing the table. There were a few instances where temperature was
not given in kelvin.
Most candidates were able to compute the natural logarithm of the resistance and the reciprocal of the
kelvin temperature.
Many candidates did not draw graphs with the appropriate scale. Those who produced graphs of
appropriate scale were able to draw the line of best fit.
Candidates were required to determine, from the graph, the resistance of the thermistor when the
temperature was 71 C. Those candidates who were able to successfully plot the graph were able to
extract this information from the graph.
Question 2
Candidates were required to complete a table using an equation that was provided.
Many candidates did not realize that the quantity a, in the equation, had units m x 106, and this was not
considered when finding the value of a3. As a result, their values for q were incorrect. Those who
recognized this fact were able to successfully complete the table. Very few candidates could explain
why droplets moved in different directions, or why the chamber had to be irradiated with xrays. In
addition, very few responses explained why the experiment would only work for a limited range of
voltages.
Too many candidates were not able to use the graph of terminal velocity versus time to determine the
separation of the plates. Those candidates who successfully determined the separation of the plates
were also successful in finding the terminal velocity of the oil drop.
Question 3
Candidates were required to design an experiment for collecting data to plot the gain frequency curve
of an inverting amplifier.
The majority of candidates could not correctly list the apparatus that was required or draw the circular
circuit. In many cases, candidates merely drew the circuit for an inverting amplifier without including
the input signal or the means of measuring either the input or output.
Few candidates could outline the procedure for conducting the experiment, tabulate the results or
describe the treatment of the results. Few candidates realized that the logfrequency graph had to be
plotted.
12
Paper 031Report on School Based Assessment (SBA)
The following issues arose out of the moderation exercise for both Units 1 and 2.
Number of Assessments
At several centres only two assessments were done for each skill. Some teachers continue to
misinterpret a clause in the CAPE Physics Syllabus (p. 67), Specific Guidelines for Teachers #5, which
states:
The mark recorded for each skill assessed by practical exercises should be average of at least two
separate assessments.
As a result, many centres submitted two assessments only for each skill. In some of these situations, the
two exercises did not satisfy the basic CAPE standards and therefore moderators were hard pressed to
fine legitimate exercises to moderate.
Assessment of Manipulation and Measurement
In some cases, there was no way of verifying how the manipulation and measurement scores were
determined. There was no record of the marks in students books.
Mark Scheme
The number of centres for which mark schemes were not submitted remains a cause for concern
and may lead to delayed results for such centres.
There were several cases where mark schemes were inadequate for some skills. Some centres
continue to assess exercises using criteria that do not match the skill, for example, many centres
include plotting points as Analysis/Interpretation criteria when it is an
Observation/Recording/Reporting skill. Invariably, too many marks were assigned to these
criteria. This practice inflated students marks.
Some centres failed to show how marks were assigned to the criteria. While the marks were
assigned, it was unclear how the marks were awarded and almost always, candidates were
awarded full marks. The team also noted that the criteria must be specific to the task at hand.
In an attempt to use the same criteria for more than one exercise, some centres allowed the use
of a common mark scheme. There were cases in which one mark scheme was constructed to
fit all exercises. This is not recommended. Centres are urged to comply with the CXC SBA
guidelines.
MAY/JUNE 2014
PHYSICS
2
GENERAL COMMENTS
In 2014, the number of candidates writing the CAPE Physics examinations was as follows:
Unit 1: 3372 candidates
Unit 2: 2637 candidates
This reflected a decrease in the numbers writing the CAPE Physics 2013 examinations in which case
the numbers were 3621 (Unit 1) and 2659 (Unit).
A recurring problem in both units is the large number of candidates who have not mastered
fundamentals such as:
Unit conversion this occurs in every area of physics, even in linear units where converting
between different divisions of a meter millimeter meter, nanometers micrometers centimeters defeats candidates
Transposing of algebraic expressions : especially where other operations such as square roots
are involved, for example: to make T the subject of the formula
= 2 expressing derived
DETAILED COMMENTS
UNIT 1
Paper 02 Structured and Free Response Questions
Question 1
This question was fairly well done. The topic appeared to be well known and the only section which
presented major difficulty was the one which required candidates to find the horizontal range of a
projectile. The most common error was where candidates used the velocity of projection multiplied
by the time of flight to find the horizontal range.
Teachers are encouraged to remind their students that most projectile calculations require the
horizontal and vertical components of the motion to be treated separately and independently.
3
Question 2
There was generally weak performance on this question. One area of weakness was algebra. Given
two algebraic equations, one of which included a square root, and asked to combine them and
manipulate into a given form, the majority of candidates got lost in the algebra and could not obtain
the result.
Teachers should assign a significant number of problems involving algebraic manipulation so that
their students get the required practice. They should also encourage students to practise on their own
as facility with algebraic manipulation comes with practice.
A majority of candidates did not know the components of the e/m spectrum nor the wavelength
boundaries of the different components. This is important general knowledge and teachers should
devise creative methods of ensuring that this is studied and learned. The mnemonic used to memorize
the colours of the visible spectrum has been outstandingly successful. Perhaps a similar mnemonic
could be developed for the entire e/m spectrum.
Most candidates knew how substitute in the given equation and use their calculators to find the result.
Question 3
For Part (a), a majority of students were able to calculate the volume inside a cylindrical glass tube
given appropriate data about the geometry of the tube. In Part (b), candidates were given graphical
data and were required to decide which variable should be assigned to the xaxis and which to the yaxis. A large number of candidates made the assignment incorrectly.
Teachers are encouraged to make sure that their students first of all, know how to distinguish between
the independent variable and the dependent variable. It should then be stressed that the independent
variable is the one which is assigned to the xaxis (abscissa) and the dependent variable to the yaxis
(ordinate).
A majority of candidates did not elaborate on the answer when asked what happened to the volume of
a real gas as its temperature was decreased towards absolute zero. It appears that students are not
being taught to visualize the conditions inside a gas in accordance with kinetic theory. Kinetic theory
lends itself to visualization. It is very important when teaching the gas laws and kinetic theory, that
teachers help their students create a visual picture of what is happening inside a gas, that is, the
microscopic view. There are many applets online which can help with this.
Question 4
This question was poorly done despite its focus on fundamental thinking skills. A large number of
candidates could not explain why an object would be accelerating while going around a circle at
constant speed, suggesting that their concept of acceleration was not fully established. It is expected
that teachers make every effort to ensure that concepts such as these are internalized at the CSEC
level.
The dimensional analysis using base units was also poorly done. Many candidates were unable to use
the equations of kinematics to find the velocity of a car with a given initial velocity and constant
4
acceleration over a specified distance. Here again, fundamental concepts which should have been
established at a lower level are missing. Perhaps some coordination between CAPE and CSEC
teachers would assist in ensuring that these lacunae in basic understanding are not propagated.
In the section requiring candidates to indicate the forces acting on an object undergoing circular
motion in a vertical circle, candidates drawings indicated that they thought of the centripetal force as
one of the active forces and not as a requirement for circular motion.
Responses to this question suggest that circular motion is not a clearly understood concept and that
teachers should devote special effort towards ensuring that more of their students develop a thorough
understanding of the topic.
Question 5
This question was very poorly done. Most of the formulae relevant to this question were recalled
accurately by the majority of candidates. In one special case where a formula was to be derived from
a diagram, there was the peculiar situation of candidates being able to recall the derivation but unable
to recall the diagram on which it was based.
Unit conversion continues to present a problem and it was particularly apparent in this question.
Conversions between mm and metres were most often incorrectly done and so was the conversion
between metres and nanometers. This difficulty would be considerably diminished if teachers
habitually use scientific notation and encourage/require the use of such notation by their students.
Along with this, there should be a thorough (recitative) grounding in the meaning and expression of
the scientific prefixes: micro milli centi kilo mega etc.
Particularly evident in the responses to this question was the perennial problem of transposing of
variables in a given equation, that is, changing the subject variable. This problem is eminently soluble
and whichever technique is used, the brute force solution of drills will definitely work. Every physics
teacher should commit to ensuring that no student leaves class without mastering this basic algebraic
skill.
Question 6
Students demonstrated fundamental knowledge of the heat transfer processes and of the greenhouse
effect. A vast majority of candidates were unable to make the link between the processes and their
application to the design of solar water heaters. Many candidates, although knowing the formula for
thermal conduction through a regular solid, were unable to apply it to the practical situation presented
in this problem. It appears that although candidates can quote the formula quite accurately, there is a
gap in their understanding of the meaning of each term. Teachers should be aware of this gap and
endeavor to close it. One possible way of accomplishing this is by identifying, correctly, the
troublesome variables in a wide variety of situations. The internet and the problems at the end of
chapter in any of the wellknown Physics texts can be of great assistance. Remember, the student
does not necessarily have to solve the problem. The purpose of the exercise would be to correctly
identify which item of given data corresponds to which variable in the formula being studied.
5
UNIT 2
Paper 02 Structured and Free Response Questions
Question 1
This question was well done indicating that the topic was properly taught and well understood. A
number of candidates experienced difficulty in finding the time constant of the given exponential
decay curve. Some were not able to draw a proper tangent and even among those who drew the
tangent competently, many did not realize that it could be read off directly from the time axis. Those
who attempted to calculate it directly did not do so well either.
Drawing a tangent to a curve, that is, variable slope, is a skill which all students should acquire.
Teachers should drive home the main features of this exercise by reducing it to a set of sequential
steps and having their students master each step.
There were still a number of candidates who appeared to have difficulty drawing a proper graph and
ended up with inappropriate scales making the extraction of data from the graph exceedingly difficult.
Although overall performance on this question was good, there were a fair number of candidates who
did not know the SI unit for capacitance.
Question 2
This question had the best performance on the entire paper. The data for the graph was calculated and
recorded accurately and for the most part the graphs were properly drawn and well presented. There
were still a number of candidates who had difficulty choosing proper scales for their graph.
Question 3
This question had one of the worst performances on the entire paper. The majority of candidates
could not derive the nuclear absorption equation given the initial isotope, the bombarding particles
and the final product. There is very little intrinsic difficulty in this exercise and so the remaining
conclusion must be that some candidates were not properly prepared or not prepared at all for this
topic. The examining committee encourages all teachers of CAPE Physics to plan and execute their
teaching schedule effectively so that all topics are covered.
Similarly, the vast majority of candidates could not describe a laboratory experiment to measure the
halflife of a given radionuclide. Many candidates were able to give examples of the properties of a
radioisotope which were employed in radiotherapy but there was an overwhelming bias toward
diagnostic radiotherapy applications. Teachers should make sure that their students are exposed to the
requirements of curative or corrective radiotherapies.
6
Question 4
This was the worst performing question on this paper. Approximately 29 per cent of candidates
scored zero. Most candidates could calculate the electric field between parallel plates. The parallels
between the motion of charged particles in a uniform electric field and that of a mass in a uniform
gravitational field appear to be unfamiliar to a large number of students. This parallel is expressly
stated in the Unit 2 syllabus. In cases where Unit 2 is taught before Unit 1 or where candidates are
doing Unit 2 alone, teachers have the responsibility to teach parabolic motion in Unit 2.
Question 5
This was the second best performing question on the paper. The modal score of 15 out of 15 suggests
that there are many candidates for whom this topic is well taught and well understood. Among the
more poorly performing candidates, there were many who could recognize or draw the basic logic
gates and who could derive a truth table from a given logic circuit. Some candidates submitted
responses with 3 and 4input logic gates. Teachers should frequently refer their students to the
syllabus which is available online. In this case, the CAPE syllabus states that all logic circuits
examined at CAPE will be restricted to two inputs.
Question 6
Performance on this question was generally poor with approximately 25 per cent of candidates
earning the modal score of zero and nearly 20 per cent not attempting the question at all.
Experience continues to show that the topics at the back of the syllabus are most likely to produce
these poor responses. A likely reason for this is that many teachers arrange the syllabus material in
chronological order and topics at the back of the syllabus, thus assigned to the end of the teaching
period, are sometimes omitted. We recommend that teachers bear this in mind when planning their
teaching schedule for the term.
Conversion from joules to eV and vice versa: these conversion problems can be easily solved by
giving students a sufficient number of practice examples for the process to be imprinted on their
subconscious.
7
Paper 032 Alternative to SchoolBased Assessment (SBA)
A catalog of the problems encountered in SBA assessment is presented below. Teachers are asked to
note them carefully and to take appropriate remedial action where necessary.
Standard of the Labs
Too many standard experiments used for Planning and Design
Poor hypotheses accepted for Planning and Design
Planning and Design experiments should be written up in two parts:
Part A in which the exercise is planned in its entirety
Part B in which the execution of the experiment is recorded
Too few basic Analysis and Interpretation exercises
Mark Schemes and Marking
Not enough breakdown for each criterion
Teachers not following their own mark schemes
Mark schemes with more than 24 points used and submitted
Mismatched criteria Analysis and Interpretation actually belonged to Observation
Recording and Reporting.
Wrong mark schemes submitted mark schemes received did not correspond to the
labs that were in the candidates books.
Inconsistent marking some candidates were awarded a mark for satisfying a
particular assessment criterion while other candidates did not receive the mark for
similar or almost identical work.
Little or no feedback comments in lab books.
Disorganized Presentation
No dates on lab reports
Lab reports not indexed
Pages not numbered
Reports presented in random order in each lab book
Improvements
It is pleasing to note that:
Some schools are reading the subject report and are making improvements to their SBA
performance.
Some very original, nonstandard Planning and Design experiments are being done.
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